Memorial Day Safety Tips

Memorial Day is a time to celebrate our fallen heroes, both past and present. In addition to these celebrations comes warmer weather. Many families take the weekend to enjoy each other with many different types of festivities; cookouts, camping trips, beach trips, and outdoor fun are just a few of the activities we partake in. Including our four-legged friends in these escapades can add to the fun. If you want to include your furry friends in your celebration, there are a few important things to keep in mind.


  • Avoid giving any table scraps (including any kind of meat, casserole, salad, or desert). They may not be toxic to your pet but they can cause extreme gastrointestinal upset as well as pancreatitis.
  • Corn-on-the-cob can also pose a threat. Cobs can get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract, creating a choking hazard as well as a blockage.
  • Many casseroles or deserts may have an ingredient that contains xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener. Xylitol can be deadly for your pet, causing vomiting, elevation in heart rate and blood pressure, and tremors.
  • Adult beverages are also extremely harmful to our furry friends. They cannot digest alcohol like humans and can suffer from alcohol poisoning very quickly. Stomach bloating and possibly twisting are two extreme side-effects that can occur and may lead to death.
  • Grapes, onions, garlic, and raisins are a few of the foods that are toxic to pets. Being aware of what foods are in their environment that can be toxic to your four-legged friend is beneficial. Make sure all guests know NOT to feed them any table scraps. If your pet may have consumed something and you are unsure of the toxicity or if they display abnormal signs (i.e. lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), contact your veterinarian immediately!

Outdoor Activities

  • If you plan on taking your pet to the beach, take some precautions to keep them safe. Always keep a fresh bowl of water available and discourage them from drinking from the ocean, the salt water can cause an elevated salt level (hyernatremia) which can be deadly.
  • Pool water, along with the chemicals used to treat it, can also pose a threat to your pet. Make sure you discourage them from drinking from a pool and also provide fresh water so that it is available at all times. Keep any chemicals up and out of reach from your furry friends.
  • The use of sunscreen can also aid in protecting your pet from the hot sun. Take caution to ONLY use pet friendly sunscreen. DO NOT use repellants and sunscreens specifically designed for humans because they can contain insecticides that are toxic to pets. AVOID ingestion of citronella-based products. They contain insecticides that are toxic to pets.
  • Heat can be just as deadly to animals as it is to humans. Make sure your pet has plenty of opportunity to cool themselves and provide fresh water to allow them to hydrate. If you know you will be out in the heat with your pet, make sure you are aware of the signs of heat stroke in pets.
  • Having updated ID tags and/or microchip information is important!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding holiday safety for your furry family members, contact us or your local veterinarian. Also see tips for Heat Stroke.

Happy Memorial Day!