Labor Day Pet Safety Tips


Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer with thoughts of the back-to-school and fall season.

Many people will gather with friends and families and enjoy games, picnics, and BBQ’s outdoors. As always, our furry family members are included on these holidays! These are some quick tips and things to avoid during this time of the year.


  • Parties & the Neighborhood
    • Leaving your pet at home when you celebrate the holiday is the safest option, however just because they’re home don’t mean it’s business as usual. People in your neighborhood could also being having parties which means strange noises and smells while you are gone. Pheromone products like Adaptil® and Feliway® are an excellent options for when you’re home or away and are available as diffusers, collars and more.
      • Many situations can be perceived as stressful by dogs. Adaptil is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the pheromone mother dogs emit after giving birth to help their puppies feel calm and secure.  Dogs of all ages recognize this pheromone throughout life. It is clinically proven to help reduce stress in puppies and adult dogs that leads to inappropriate behaviors.
      • Feliway creates a state of familiarity and security in the cat’s local environment. It is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.  As a result, Feliway can be used to help comfort and reassure cats while they cope with a challenging situation. Feliway helps reduce or prevent unwanted behaviors caused by stress. It is veterinary used and recommended, and clinically proven.

labor day pet safetyThe Backyard

  • Bugs
    • Keep your pet free of parasites that are more common during warm weather or in your region, such as fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
    • Mosquitoes are more than just pests to humans, they are dangers to pets. Vector-borne diseases like heartworm are a real concern for dogs. A recent study by Dr. John McCall showed the value of topical repellent insecticidal products in a “double defense” protocol for protecting dogs against the vector – the mosquito and use of a preventive against heartworm disease.
  • The Grill
    • Fat drippings from the grill, and meats; can contain large amounts of oils that could lead to risk for your dog developing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Symptoms include: vomiting, diarrhea, intense abdominal pain, and other affects to the organs. This can be life-threatening if left untreated. Try to keep one person assigned to monitoring the grill to be sure the dogs are not licking up that tasty grease.
    • Charcoal: Not poisonous but very upsetting to the stomach when ingested. Commonly this can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and inappetence. Large pieces could even lead to obstruction.
    • Caution Hot! It may seem like common sense, however be sure the grill-master watches out for running dogs to prevent accidentally burn injuries.
  • Lounge Time & Relaxation
    • Tiki Torches: These contain petroleum distillates that are very irritating to the skin and the stomach. The greatest danger occurs when the animal vomits and the liquid can slide into the lungs (aspiration). This could immediately cause coughing/wheezing, choking and even sudden death. If left untreated, this could be very dangerous and could cause a chemical pneumonia. If on the skin, wash quickly with a dish soap to prevent further irritation.

The Food

  • Giving your dog any type of bones should be avoided. These can splinter; get lodged in the teeth or throat, and puncture the intestinal tract. Try to remove the bones immediately or have guests throw the bones in the garbage when finished.
  • Corn on the cob is not toxic, but if portions of the cob are swallowed it can cause an intestinal blockage that could result in surgical removal. Best to have guests throw these in the garbage right away.
  • Dips can commonly contain spices, onions, garlic, and Avocados/Guacamole.
    • Onions/Garlic can cause affect to the red blood cells and could lead to anemia.
    • Avocados are not toxic to dogs/cats; however they do contain large amounts of natural fats that could cause risk for pancreatitis. The pits; when swallowed whole can cause an obstruction risk.
  • Fruit Trays/Fruit Salads
    • Grapes – These can lead to kidney failure. Any number of grapes or raisins can lead to toxicity concern. Try to keep these under close supervision.
  • Desserts
    • These can contain chocolate which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, agitation/hyperactivity, a rapid heart beat, tremors, and seizures.
    • Increasingly more common; Xylitol, a natural sugar substitute, is used as a replacement for sugar in these baked goods. Even small pieces of a baked goods containing xylitol can cause a life-threatening drop in the blood glucose (hypoglycemia) and possibly liver failure.


Source:  Pet Poison Helpline


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