THE BLOG

Lucky Health Tips for Your Dog on St. Patrick's Day

03/16/2015 12:47 pm ET | Updated May 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching. Shamrocks, rainbows, beer, leprechauns, green rivers, and everything lucky -- this holiday has it all. Named after Saint Patrick, the most recognized patron saint (and snake remover) of Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is especially... shall we say 'festive'... in Chicagoland. However for pets, St. Patrick's Day can accidentally become unlucky and even dangerous for a number of reasons. Here are some guidelines for keeping your pet safe:
Alcohol
A little green beer on this holiday? Dogs should absolutely never be allowed access to beer or alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is toxic to pets and can make them extremely sick or even worse. If your pooch insists on joining in the festivities, you can buy or make your own doggie beverage. Try organic low sodium chicken broth in a frosty mug or bone broth poured from a growler (look! A beer-related meaning for the word "growler"...!). Or, if you want a 6-pack beer-bottle feeling, buy a doggie-beer such as Dog Beer or Bowser Beer. These non-alcoholic, non-carbonated treats can be a fun novelty for the human family, and won't harm the family dog. In general it's best to always be on the lookout for natural, organic and chemical-free ways to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Dye
Wear green or be pinched! We do not recommend dyeing even the most Irish of Wolfhounds green, but if your leprechaun insists, make sure to use non-toxic, all-natural, non-permanent vegetable dye. Be certain the coloring won't affect sensitive skin and is safe if your dog licks the fur after it's dyed. Murphy Oil Soap (liquid) is perfect as a safe, natural and non-drying dog shampoo to wash that green right out of their hair.
Clothing
At this time of year, there seems to be no shortage of St. Patrick's Day costumes to adorn your precious pet. When dressing your pet for the occasion, take a cute photo as soon as the outfit is on. Then if the costume becomes uncomfortable, you can undress your little shamrock and show the photo instead. Animals can become overheated when wearing clothing/costumes. Signs of overheating include panting, acting lethargic or looking anxious. Overheating occurs more rapidly if the pet is in the sun, on a hot day, or in a warm room. Offering plenty of fresh water, and a cool place in the shade can help, but if your pets seem hot or uncomfortable, let them get naked.
Special Events
Parades and parties will be happening all around town. They can be overwhelming and even hazardous to your pet. When taking your pet to parties, communicate with the host or hostess to determine (a) if your pet is welcome and (b) if there will be a "no disturb" area or room for your pet if she becomes agitated. Make sure other guests aren't tempted to offer unhealthy treats, foods or drink to your dog. Remember that other houses may not be dog-proofed. Table surfing or garbage picking in a bathroom or kitchen may be dangerously appealing to a dog. Pets at holiday parades should be leashed and properly restrained at all times for a parade of reasons.
Adopting
Looking for an Irish dog? Maybe an Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Kerry Beagle, Irish Lurcher, Irish Toy Collie, Kerry Blue Terrier, Glen of Imaal Terrier, or an Irish Wolfhound? Whoever you might be looking for as your next four-legged companion, you can adopt an Irish breed at your local shelter or breed rescue. There are many deserving animals waiting to find a home. You'll both find that the luck of the Irish is with you!