Pet Safety Tips For Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a great opportunity for families to get together, enjoy parades, have a picnic, and appreciate the people [and dogs!] who have defended the country we call home.  While you may want to include your pet in the patriotic festivities, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind!

  1. Make sure only humans eat the human food:  Though some food is just not-so-healthy for your pet, other dishes can be downright toxic.  Alcohol, grapes, raisins, chocolate, candies, gum, garlic, and more are all commonly used at picnics or cookouts so make sure your pet stays out of the food.  Even “pet-safe” human food, such as meat, can be dangerous as too much can lead to pancreatitis, the inflammation of the pancreas, which is potentially fatal.
  2. Keep your pets cool: If your celebrations are out in the sun, make sure your pet has plenty of water and access to shade.  Cats and dogs can overheat more quickly than humans, which can be quite dangerous.
  3. Prevent runaways: If you’ve got guests heading over or are heading to another home that has pets, make sure you’re conscious of the doors opening and closing.  Some pets are professional escape artists and may take the opportunity from an influx of people to make a break for it.  If you’re attending an outdoor event with your pet, make sure to have a secure, handled leash on your pet.  We highly advise against retractable leashes as they are more likely to break, provide little to no control of your pet, and have a higher potential of injuring you and/or your pet.  Be sure to also have your pet’s ID tags on them at all times just in case they do succeed in escaping.
  4. Ditch the outfits: While a red, white, and blue bandana may be appropriate, chances are that it will be far too hot to keep your pet in a full costume of any kind.  Make sure that your pet is comfortable and that any article of clothing does not restrict air flow, hearing, or sight.
  5. Bug spray is for us, not for pets: Unless you’ve received an insect repellent specifically for animals from your veterinarian, do not use any insect repellents on your pet.  Human insect repellents are nearly always toxic to cats and dogs and the poisoning can be fatal since it can cause neurological damage.
  6. Keep an eye on swimmers: If your party is near a pool or lake, keep an eye on your pet.  Not all dogs are great swimmers and some pets will try to take a drink from a chemical filled pool or a muddy lake.  Keep pets away from the pool if you’re not able to give 100% of your attention to them while they’re getting their doggy paddle on.

We at Emerald Animal Hospital are wishing everyone and every pet a happy and safe holiday tomorrow!  But just in case, we are equipped with diagnostic testing and a wide variety of treatment plans to help your pet in the event that something goes wrong during the Memorial Day celebrations.  Give us a call at 216-749-7161 to set up an appointment!