Pet Talk column: Tips for keeping pets safe this holiday weekend
Memorial Day weekend is here. Hopefully, if our mountain weather cooperates, we will be enjoying the holiday weekend, whether we stay home and barbecue or head out for a camping trip. Regardless of where the time off may lead us, we hope it’s not to the animal emergency room. To try and avoid the potential animal emergencies this weekend, we thought we would pass on these tips.
1. Keep your pet away from your holiday meals. Grilled ribs can cause obstructions, perforations and dangerous infections. Onions, often used for hot dogs and hamburgers, are toxic to pets. Even desserts containing chocolate can be dangerous, with chocolate being toxic. So, enjoy your vacation dining by not offering your pet a chance to join in to avoid that midnight trip to the vet.
2. Keep your pet away from grills and fires. It is easy for a pet to try and jump up to grab that hamburger on the grill, resulting in dangerous burns. Be proactive and keep your pet safe.
3. Avoid giving your pet alcohol. Alcohol is toxic to pets, so when you set that cocktail down to turn the meat over on the grill, keep your pet safe by placing any alcoholic beverages out of reach.
4. Keep your pet away from lighter fluid.
5. Have plenty of water available at all times. Many of us have the ambitions for hiking 14ers or biking up the pass. Our pets may easily become dehydrated, so carry plenty of water or be conscious to stop and take breaks allowing your pet to drink. Large, deep-chested dogs can be prone to “bloat” during this time which has life threatening consequences as heat stroke and dehydration do as well.
6. Keep your pet on a leash. We all know as festivities begin, many pet owners will let dogs run freely through parks and campgrounds. We see an increase in dog injuries resulting from dog fights, getting hit by cars as many are traveling through the same area, and even lost dogs, as noises become loud or scary for a pet, or fireworks are set off resulting in runaway pets.
7. Use proper pet-safe insect repellents to avoid exposure to dangerous ticks as well as mosquitoes. Many diseases can be carried through insects and transmitted through a single bite.
Finally, be smart and be safe this holiday weekend. Enjoy this extra time with your pet in the mountains or at home, not at the animal ER.
Sheila Fitzpatrick, DVM, owner of Mountain Mobile Vet and The Animal Hospital Center, submitted this column. You can reach her at 970-328-7085.