Safely Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day With Your Pets

| March 15, 2024

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the streets turn green, and people prepare to celebrate the luck of the Irish. While you plan your festivities, don’t forget to include your pets in the fun! With a bit of consideration and precaution, you can ensure a good time for both you and your companion. Here are some pet-friendly ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely. 

Dress Your Pet in Green

Start the celebration by dressing your pet in adorable green attire. Ensure that the clothing is comfortable and doesn’t restrict their movement. If your pet is not a fan of sweaters, try a St. Patrick’s Day themed bandana. You can find pet-friendly St. Patrick’s Day outfits at pet stores or even create your own with safe, non-toxic dyes. 

Pet-Friendly Treats

Treat your furry friend to some St. Patrick’s Day-themed goodies. Bake homemade treats using pet-safe ingredients or visit a pet store for special holiday treats. Just be cautious with ingredients like chocolate, as it can be harmful to pets. Opt for treats with natural green colouring, such as spinach or spirulina. 

Irish-Themed Toys

Keep your pet entertained with Irish-themed toys. Look for toys shaped like shamrocks, leprechauns, or even a lucky beer mug. Interactive toys can provide mental stimulation and keep your pet engaged during the festivities. 

Pet Parade Participation

The annual St. Patricks’ Day parade is taking place on March 17th, kicking off at noon at the corner of St. George and Bloor, near St. George station in Toronto. Before bringing your pet to join the festivities make sure your pet is comfortable in crowds and that the event is suitable for their temperament. 

Safe Decorations

Getting a shamrock plant for your home is certainly lucky, but your pet won’t feel the same way if they ingest it. Thisplant contains soluble calcium oxalates and is toxic to pets. If your dog or cat eats a shamrock, they may experience drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, and head shaking.  If you receive a shamrock, place it in a high, hard-to-reach area so that your pets cannot get to it.   

There are tons of safer pet decorations you could opt for to bring St. Patrick’s Day into your home. Hang your decorations up high, and avoid things that can easily be chewed, swallowed, or cause your pet to choke. Most importantly, don’t leave your pets unattended in a room full of decorations.  

Avoid Harmful Foods and Drinks

Traditional foods enjoyed on St. Paddy’s Day include Irish soda bread, corned beef, and sauerkraut. Unfortunately, our pets won’t enjoy these foods as much as us.   

The yeast in the raw dough from the Irish soda bread ferments in the stomach and produces alcohol. When absorbed by the bloodstream, it’s toxic for pets. This bread also often contains raisins and currants, both of which are toxic. Ingestion can cause severekidney damageand even kidney failure.  

Corned beef and sauerkraut are high in fat and salt, which can upset their digestive system and cause vomiting,diarrhea, and even acutepancreatitis.  

It is also very important to keep beer away from pets – even the green kind. While we can freely indulge in the frothy, foamy goodness of the St. Patrick’s Day beverage, our pets don’t share the same tolerance. The tiniest amount can be toxic because their livers can’t handle it. Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, incoordination, and trouble breathing are signs of alcohol ingestion. If you suspect your pet ingested alcohol, please seek immediate veterinary attention.  

If you’re hosting a celebration at home, inform your guests about pet safety to avoid accidental sharing of harmful treats. 

Quiet Space for Rest

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can get lively, and some pets may find the noise and excitement overwhelming. Create a quiet, comfortable space where your pet can retreat if they need a break from the festivities. This could be a separate room with their bed, toys, and water bowl.