Keep Your Small Dog Safe this St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is often full of fun celebrations and traditions promising to bring you luck. However, your small dog may not be so lucky if they encounter any of these St. Patty’s Day dangers that no amount of training can help you avoid.
Around the annual March holiday, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) puts out recommendations to keep pets safe from foods, toxins, and other common St. Patrick’s Day items. Small dogs can be particularly susceptible to these things. Their tiny bodies can tolerate much less exposure to poisonous substances. Additionally, their tiny stature sometimes allows them to get into mischief unnoticed.
If you want to protect your pooch this St. Patrick’s Day, keep the following recommendations in mind when celebrating the luck of the Irish!
Top Tips for St. Patrick’s Day Pet Safety
Have you seen St. Patrick’s Day pet costumes that turn your pup into an adorable shamrock? While these clovers can make cute costumes, they’re one of the plants poisonous to dogs. Shamrocks offer festive greenery around the holiday and are sometimes given as lucky gifts. You’ll often see them in a shade of green, but there is also a purple variety.
Unfortunately, if your canine decides to taste this St. Patrick’s Day vegetation, they could end up with digestive troubles, drooling, and unnatural head shaking. Large doses of shamrock may pose a more serious threat to your small dog as it causes their blood calcium levels to drop, leading to kidney damage. The plant is bitter and not very tempting to pets. However, it is wise to contact your vet if you notice your puppy taking a taste. If you do plan to keep shamrocks in your home, make sure they’re out of reach of your curious furry friends.
Beware Alcoholic Beverages
Green beer, Irish stouts, and other alcoholic drinks are popular at St. Patrick’s Day festivities. But did you know that alcohol can be just as tempting to your pet as it is to you? The flavor and taste have been known to draw in dogs for a drink. Unlike humans, though, pets do not tolerate alcohol very well.
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A green beer left unattended or accidentally spilled can cause your canine to get into trouble. If your small dog does consume it, it may show signs of drunkenness or depression within an hour. They can also experience upset stomachs, vomiting, and trouble walking. Green food dyes found in green beer may cause further digestive upset. To avoid having to contact your vet or the animal poison control center, keep all alcoholic beverages out of your pet’s reach and clean up any spills immediately.
Parades and Nervous Pets
Like the Fourth of July holiday, St. Patrick’s Day parades with loud noises or a raucous celebration can make your pooch nervous. If you’re hosting a St. Patty’s Day party in your own home, your pup can quickly become overwhelmed and anxious, especially if everyone wants to pet your cute dog!
Some owners find that keeping their dogs in separate rooms away from the action helps calm them down. Use soft lighting, have a radio or television playing to create soothing background noise, and crate your pet if they’re comfortable with it. Check on your pet often and use a calming voice to reassure them. If your pet experiences significant anxiety, you may want to avoid loud celebrations or hosting parties altogether. In the end, you know what’s best for your furry friend.
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Travel Safety Tips
There are always pictures of St. Patrick’s Day pets at parades or dressed up at celebrations; which means the owner likely had to travel with a dog to attend the festivity. Consider purchasing appropriate safety gear if you plan on taking your small dog with you. Small dog car seats can make your pup more comfortable and safe while traveling. A small dog safety vest may make your four-pawed friend more visible in high-traffic areas, such as crowded streets. Finally, consider carrying a dog on your person or a pet stroller to offer them a secure retreat in busy, noisy areas.
Whether you like funny dog costumes or cute dog costumes, there is no shortage of St. Patty’s day options. However, not all pets appreciate getting dressed up. It’s a good idea to monitor your little dog while they’re wearing their costume. If they seem agitated or distressed, remove the outfit. Dogs who chew and bite the costume may be at risk of eating or choking on small pieces and should be left costume-free. If you want a tiny dog costume for the holiday, it’s recommended that you try it on your dog well ahead of time to check for proper fit and gauge your dog’s reaction.
Say No to Irish Soda Bread
St. Patrick’s Day facts often discuss the many traditions associated with the holiday, such as food. Irish Soda Bread is a popular St. Patty’s treat that could harm dogs. It typically contains raisins. These dried grapes are toxic to dogs, potentially leading to kidney failure. Remember, bread products are usually just as tempting to dogs as they are to us, making it wise to keep all Irish Soda Bread safely out of your pet’s reach.
Festive treats with green food dye, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, and certain nuts can also be toxic to your canine. If you want to treat your puppy to a festive snack, feed your dog only veterinarian-approved healthy options made specifically for pets.
Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday!
The holiday poses many opportunities for your small dog to indulge in treats and beverages that can negatively affect their health. Closely monitor drinks, foods, and items brought into your home (like shamrocks). Additionally, watch your pooch for cues when it comes to loud parties, crowded parades, and dog costumes. Being mindful of your furry friend on St. Patrick’s Day can help ensure the holiday is fun, festive, and lucky for both of you.