Watch Out for Unlucky Pet Hazards This St. Patrick’s Day!

March 16, 2021

orange tabby cat on a green stage with sparkly shamrock decorations

St. Patrick’s Day is just a day away and many are getting ready to celebrate the Irish holiday! St. Patrick’s Day is typically filled with fun and exciting festivities, but the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to help make sure that your furry friends don’t have too much fun and get into trouble. 

Keep the celebrations fun for you and your pets by using the APCC safety tips below!

Tip #1:  Keep the Plants Out of Paw’s Reach

Shamrocks (Oxalis acetosellar and Oxalis triangularis) are popular plants commonly seen around St. Patrick’s Day. These festive plants make their appearance as gifts to bring a bit of green into our homes around the beginning of March. However, these plants are not as exciting for pets as they can cause stomach upset, drooling and head shaking when small amounts are ingested. If large amounts are ingested, there are more severe concerns such as a decrease in the blood calcium level and kidney damage. Luckily, the bitter taste of these plants deters most animals from eating a large amount. 

Tip #2:  Don’t Share Your (Green) Beer

Green beer can almost always be found at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Alcohol can be just as attractive to our pets as it is to humans and can get our four-legged friends into a lot more trouble. When a pet gets into an unattended or spilled drink, they may show signs of depression and drunkenness within about an hour. Alcohol will cause difficulty walking and stomach upset such as vomiting and diarrhea. Dogs who have ingested large amounts of alcohol may have difficulty protecting their airways and are at risk for aspiration pneumonia if they inhale the vomit. Always keep your eye on your beverage and do not place it on the floor or on a low table where pets can have easy access. If you cannot always monitor your pet, it’s best to put them in a quiet, safe room until the party has come to an end.

Tip #3: Leave the Irish Soda Bread as a Treat for the Humans

Irish soda bread is a popular food during St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Be aware that this bread contains raisins which can cause kidney injury in dogs. It’s best to feed furry friends their own veterinarian-approved healthy treats during any celebrations.  

Following these tips will help keep your pet out of trouble and your St. Patrick’s Day stress-free. Be sure to keep an eye on the items in your home and keep them out of paws’ reach.

If you believe your pet has ingested something potentially toxic or seems to be having an adverse reaction to something, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.