We’re hosting a big Memorial Day party at our house this year. Our new dog, as well as our friends’ dogs will all be in attendance. What do we need to do to ensure the safety of the pets on Memorial Day?
Ready to party in Shepherd Park Plaza
Dear Ready to Party,
Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer. As you well know, with summer comes the heat, the bugs, the fireworks and the BBQ. While it can be a fun time, it can also spell danger for the animals in our lives. Here are a few tips to keep Fido safe for Memorial Day and beyond:
Be cool around the pool: Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers! Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Also, try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine.
Say “nay” to bug spray: Unless specifically designed for animals, insect repellant and sunscreen can be toxic to pets. Signs of repellent toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. DEET, a common insecticide in products for humans, may cause neurological issues in dogs.
“Stay cool; see ya next summer!”: Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so if you’re spending time outside, give them plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure they have a shady place to get out of the sun. Note that animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Keep the snacks and treats away from Fido: BBQ-ing is one of the best parts of Memorial Day, but remember that the food and drink you serve your guests may be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from animals, and remind guests not to give them any table scraps or snacks. Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and avocado are all common at barbeques—and they’re all especially toxic to animals.
The name of the game for summer holiday safety is to consider your pet’s happiness. While a big, raucous party might sound fun to you, think about Fido’s likes and dislikes and assess if this is really the right place for him. A quiet room in your house, outfitted with all of his favorite toys and snuggly blankets might make Fido just as happy this Memorial Day as a day spent with friends, soaking up the sun will for you. Above all else, be safe and considerate of your pet’s needs.
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