Keeping the Happy in St. Patrick’s Day.

Shamrocks, pots o’ gold, parades, green hats, green cookies, and of course, green beer — St. Patrick’s Day welcomes in spring and celebrates one of Ireland’s most revered saints.   It is a day of happy festivities and getting together with family and friends.

While we all need to be mindful of leprechauns, there are a few other hazards all pet owners should keep in mind before the St. Patrick’s Day festivities begin.

“Níl” on sharing the Corned Beef and salty, fatty foods

Corned beef and cabbage is a St. Patrick’s Day delight, but when it comes to your pets, it is not so delightful.  Corned beef is beef brisket that is soaked in a special pickling brine of salt and vinegar before it is cooked in a seasoned broth.  Due to the special curing process, corned beef is extremely high in sodium and while little bit of salt most likely won’t hurt your dog, depending on your dog’s size and health history, eating too much salty food in one sitting may result in vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst or urination, increased fluid retention, kidney damage, seizures, coma, or even death, in not only dogs and cats, but birds, horses and cows.   

The broth used to cook corned beef contains quite a bit of garlic, and many people add onions to their corned beef and cabbage.  While all make the meat even more tasty for humans, garlic and onions can be poisonous to dogs and cats and can cause nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and an elevated heart rate and respiratory rate.

The fat in corned beef is quite high compared what your pet is used to eating and could lead to some serious stomach upset and lead to diarrhea and vomiting.  

Soda Bread Or Uncooked Dough, not golden for pets.

While soda bread is a common St. Patrick’s Day treat for humans, raisins and dried currants found in this Irish arán, are poisonous to dogs, cats and ferrets.  Even consuming a small amount of these, has the potential to cause diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and in the worst cases of toxicity, acute renal failure. 

Uncooked bread dough, expands in your pet’s stomach, and as it gets bigger, it can lead to gastric-dilation volvulus (GDV) or “bloat” – a dangerous and life-threatening condition where the pet’s stomach twists and cuts off blood supply to vital.

So before you go off hunting for those four-leaf clovers, make sure the bread is out of reach.

Guinness, Shamrock Juice, Chocolate Leprechauns and green beoir – alcohol and pets don’t mix!

The spirits are high and they are often flowing during many people’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, making it extra important to keep an eye on pets and them away from any alcohol, as pets who consume alcohol are at risk for serious health conditions that could be life-threatening.   Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include excessive drooling, gagging, vomiting, lck of coordination, slowed reflexes, signs of depression, distended stomach, and seizures.

Hops, one of the main ingredients in beer, can be toxic to both dogs and cats, and ingesting enough hops can cause elevated body temperature, a racing heartbeat, vomiting, increased respiratory rate, abnormal blood clotting, and in the most severe cases, even death.  Small animals like cats are extremely susceptible to this.

Keep the Luck o’ the Irish in your St. Patrick’s Day celebration

After a few Irish cocktails or pints of green beer, some people get a little clumsy or feel a little more affectionate with some liquid courage in their bellies, which can lead to unwanted incidents with your pets, quickly putting a damper on your celebration.  A well-meaning, tipsy person could accidentally trip over your pet, leading to injuries; or someone could make your four-legged family member uncomfortable with unwanted pets and affection, putting all involved in a potentially bad situation.

The best bet, if you are hosting a party, is keep your pets safe and calm by putting them in a room, where it is safe and quiet until the party if over and you’ve had a chance to clean up.  St. Patrick’s Day is celebration for humans, your pets won’t be missing out on anything.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and may the shamrocks be plentiful, the pot of gold easy to find and Luck o’ the Irish with you. 

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