Dog Safety Tips for Labor Day Weekend 2018

Labor Day weekend tips for keeping your dogs safe and healthy during outdoor gatherings.


Labor Day is a special time to acknowledge and appreciate workers in America, but for many, it’s also an unofficial celebration of the end of summer. And one of the most popular ways to mark the holiday weekend is with a backyard barbecue.

Many of us at the Good Dog Hotel & Spa in Broad Ripple can appreciate that, because who doesn’t love a chance to spend time with family, friends – and of course, our family pets? But all those outdoor gatherings can also include potential hazards for our furry friends.

We’ve put together some of the most common safety concerns for Labor Day weekend, or any other time you throw or attend an outdoor party. The team at the Good Dog Hotel & Spa wishes you a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend.

Outdoor Grilling

• Charcoal. While charcoal isn’t poisonous, if ingested, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, or a lack of appetite. Large pieces could even lead to obstruction. Make sure to pick up any wayward pieces immediately.
• Heat. Obviously, your grill will be hot. But smaller grills that are less stable can be jostled and even tipped by running children and pets. Your grill master should keep an eye out to ward off possible accidents.
• Food drippings. If ingested, the grease, fat and drippings from meat can lead to an inflammation of the pancreas – or worse. Look for symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. And again, be alert for any liquids and other matter that need cleaning immediately.

The Menu

• Bones. It’s so tempting, but avoid giving your dog the leftover bones (and keep them out of reach in a dog-proof trash bin). Bones can get lodged in the teeth or throat, splinter, and even puncture the intestinal tract.
• Corn on the cob. Corn isn’t toxic for dogs, but when it’s on the cob, a chunk can be swallowed and cause blockage. Again, make sure those cobs get thrown away quickly and in that same dog-proof trash bin.
• Grapes. Fruit trays are staples in most spreads this time of year, and most fruits are perfectly fine for dogs (in moderation). Grapes, on the other hand, can result in a toxicity concern, and even kidney failure. Keep your eye out for wayward grapes (and raisins too).
• Desserts. The dessert table is always tempting, but remember to keep anything chocolate away from your dog’s reach Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, agitation/hyperactivity, a rapid heartbeat, tremors, and seizures.
• Sugar substitute. If you’re baking recipes include Xylitol, which is a natural sugar substitute, beware. Even small pieces of baked goods containing xylitol can cause a life-threatening drop in the blood glucose (hypoglycemia), and possibly liver failure.

Other Safety Concerns

• Decorative open flames. Petroleum distillates include gasoline, kerosene, mineral oil, lamp oil and paint thinner. Some of these are used in Tiki torches and other types of outdoor candles and votives, and are very irritating to the skin and stomach. But the greatest danger for your dog occurs when the substance is ingested and then vomited, when the liquid can slide into the lungs (aspiration). This could cause immediate coughing/wheezing, choking and even sudden death. If left untreated, this could be very dangerous and could cause a chemical pneumonia. If it gets on your dog’s skin, wash quickly with a dish soap to prevent further irritation.
• Bug Sprays. Most brands are a low toxic risk when ingested or applied to the skin, but some may cause mild irritation to the skin of sensitive pets. If this is the case, bathe your dog with dish soap to quickly remove the spray. Products with high concentrations of DEET can cause toxicity following heavy application or ingestion. When applying the spray, stand away from your pets to avoid getting it in their eyes or nose/mouth, and keep the containers out of reach.

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