OVRS_iStock_000003056205_LargeSt. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and with it come the inevitable parties, traditional Irish food, and the wearing of green. Named after St. Patrick, the most recognized patron saint of Ireland, this day is celebrated around the country, regardless of whether or not the celebrators are of Irish descent!

Because pets are increasingly being considered full-fledged family members, it makes sense that some of us will want to include our four-legged-friends in our St. Patty’s Day festivities. Before you follow that rainbow out the door, however, take a moment to bone up on some important St. Patrick’s Day pet safety tips.

St. Patrick’s Day Pet Safety 101

Don’t leave your pet’s safety to luck, keep the following ideas in mind when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with your pets this year:

Pets And Alcohol Don’t Mix – Fido might beg for a sip of your Guinness, and you might be tempted to give him one (we all know how hard it is to resist those puppy dog eyes), but stand your ground in this case. Alcohol is hazardous for pets, and alcohol consumption can lead to serious consequences.

If you still want to share a toast with your four-legged friend this March 17th, consider picking up a “doggie beer” such as Bowser Beer or Snuffle Dog Beer. Doggie brews are non-carbonated and non-alcoholic, and because they’re made with pet-friendly ingredients such as beef or chicken broth, your pooch will have a safe and tasty way to join in the party.

Keep Your Corned Beef To Yourself – What we really mean is, no table scraps for your pet. Traditional Irish foods such as corned beef and cabbage are high in salt and fat, which could cause some serious upset tummies in pets, not to mention pancreatitis. These foods often contain other ingredients that are potentially hazardous to your pet’s health, such as onions and garlic. Be especially careful not to share any raw bread dough with your dog or cat as it can result in a life threatening condition known as gastric-dilatation volvulus.

Party Animals – It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a celebration of some sort, whether you are planning on attending a full-fledged party or hosting a small family get together, don’t forget to keep your pets in mind:

  • If you are having a gathering at your home, provide a safe, quiet area for pets to retreat when they need a break.
  • Avoid bringing your pet along to bars or parades; the crowds can be overwhelming even for the most gregarious pets.
  • To cut down on anxiousness and begging, make sure your pet has had plenty of exercise and has been fed prior to any festivities.
  • Even if you don’t plan on going anywhere with your pet, accidents do happen and pets can easily slip out of an open door or gate. Check to make sure that your pet’s microchip has been updated and that he or she is wearing a collar with current ID tags, just in case.

Costume Caveats – Pet clothing and costumes are all the rage these days, so it’s no surprise that pet supply shops and big box stores are loaded with St. Patrick’s Day ensembles for pets of all shapes and sizes. Before you dress up your little four-legged clover, check to make sure that the clothing is not too tight and that it doesn’t restrict vision, hearing, breathing, or vocalization, and remove it immediately if your pet seems uncomfortable.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. From all of us at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, Erin go Bragh!