Summer is here! And there’s no better way to kick off the Memorial Day celebrations than having some fun in the sun with a beach barbeque or picnic at the park. However, before you ignite the grill and start the festivities, it is important to remember the safety of your furry companions! ASPCA does recommend keeping your pets indoors as much as possible during outdoor parties. However, if your pet insists on joining you out and about this Memorial weekend, we have provided some safety tips to ensure the day is fun for both pets and people!
• Keep alcoholic beverages out of the paw’s reach. Alcohol is potentially hazardous to pets, so make sure your pet does not accidentally consume any wine, beer, or mixed drinks.
• Avoid scraps from the grill. It is important to resist those begging eyes and stick with your pet’s normal diet. Any table scraps, even in the smallest amounts, can result in upset stomachs and potential intestinal obstructions. Certain foods, such as onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes, and raisins can even be toxic to pets!
•Only use pet-specific insect repellent and sunscreen. It is imperative to only use products that are intended for those with four legs, such as Epi-Pet sunscreen for dogs. Avoid human products—ingestion can result in excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and lethargy.
• Supervise pets around pools, lakes, and oceans. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake (remember not all dogs are expert swimmers). If you do plan on taking your dog into the water, best to have a doggie life jacket. Also, beware of the possible chlorine and other toxic chemicals that can cause stomach upset. Other natural “doggie bowls,” such as puddles, ponds and bay water—may contain parasites.
• Use precaution around the grill. Keep your pets away from matches, citronella candles, and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.
• Keep your pets hydrated. Always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water available.
• Do not leave your pet in the car. Have you ever sat in a car on a hot day? Most pets can’t open doors and it only takes a few minutes for the inside of your car to get excessively hot. Even leaving a car parked in the shade with the windows down is no guarantee that pets will be safe. Please avoid heatstroke in your pet by never leaving them inside a car on a hot day.
• Keep your pet’s identification handy. If traveling with your pet it may be beneficial to take all identification and health records with you. Make sure they are wearing their collars/tags at all times in case they get lost. You may also wish to consider micro-chipping your pet to prevent such occurrences. Remember to keep all gates and fences closed and remind your guests as well. This will ensure that your pet does not go running into oncoming traffic or a busy intersection.
• Hire A Pet Sitter. If you don’t feel like being responsible on Memorial Day and want a true vacation. Hire a Professional Pet Sitter. You can rest assure, your pet will have a grand, safe time on Memorial Day.
Memorial day can be quite stressful and noisy on your pet so it is important to provide him/her with a safe and quiet place to rest and get away from the crowd. Taking these simple precautions will go a long way to ensure your holiday is a joyful occasion to remember.
As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact a veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435.