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St. Patrick’s Day dangers for pets

St. Patrick’s Day brings forth visions of green beer, Irish food and colorful beads. While you enjoy the festivities, remember to keep your pets safe. Here are some St. Patrick’s Day safety tips from the experts at BluePearl Veterinary Partners:

  • Avoid alcohol. It’s no secret that vibrant green beer is available just about anywhere on St. Patrick’s Day. Alcohol is highly toxic to pets, so keep your beer – and any other adult beverages – out of reach. Signs of alcohol toxicity in dogs and cats include vomiting, lethargy and weakness. If you notice these signs and/or your pet accidentally consumes alcohol, contact your closest emergency veterinarian. If you want to provide your pet with a St. Patrick’s Day treat, consider feeding him a piece of bland corned beef or purchasing dog beer that is approved by your primary veterinarian.
  • Be mindful of your pet’s safety in crowds and parades. From parades to crowded bars, there are many places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – and many of which are pet friendly. If you bring your pet, remember to provide plenty of fresh water to avoid dehydration. In an outdoor environment, make sure your pet doesn’t get too cold or too hot. Keep a close eye on your pet, as many dogs and cats can experience anxiety in environments with loud noises or busy crowds.
  • Beware of beads. Strings of green beads are often given out at St. Patrick’s Day events. These plastic necklaces seem harmless, and they are, until your dog or cat gobbles one. Cats love to play with anything string-like, and dogs are liable to eat just about anything. Hide the beads, so you avoid a trip to the animal emergency room.
  • Stay away from toxic dyes. You may add some temporary green dye to your hair for St. Patrick’s Day – but doing the same to your dog is not recommended. In fact, it can be highly dangerous to color your dog’s fur green because of the toxins found in many dyes. Dyeing your pet’s fur can quickly turn into a medical emergency, as the toxins can be harmful to the skin or deadly if ingested (or licked). Consider buying your dog a green shirt or sweater as an alternative. You can also look for a non-toxic, vegetable-based dye that is marked as safe for pets.

If you have any questions about how to safely include your pets in the St. Patrick’s Day fun, contact your primary veterinarian.

If you experience a pet emergency, seek immediate help from your closest emergency veterinarian.