BBQs and Picnics
Summer is synonymous with barbecues and picnics. Unfortunately, our pets can’t always enjoy the same snacks that we do. Eating high fat foods - such a steak, hamburgers, and cheese - can put our dogs at risk for pancreatitis. Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is a very painful disorder that can require a great deal of supportive care for complete recovery. During summer festivities, remember to keep food out of reach of pets and consider keeping your pet indoors until after the meal to prevent them from accidentally eating high fat foods or inadvertently being fed by a well-meaning but uninformed guest.
Grapes and raisins are great snacks to bring to picnics, but it is important to remember that they can be toxic for dogs. While the exact substance in grapes that causes toxicity is not yet known, even small exposures have proven to be dangerous or even fatal in some dogs. Signs can range from gastrointestinal upset or abdominal pain to dehydration and decreased urination. In the worst cases, urinary signs can progress to renal (kidney) failure and death. If you believe that your pet may have eaten grapes or raisins, it is important to call immediately to speak with a doctor.
When the sun sets on the Fourth, it is time for the main event of the evening - fireworks! Unfortunately, fireworks can cause fear or anxiety in many dogs and cats. If your pet has never experienced fireworks before, it is best to not leave them unattended during the fireworks as some pets can become extremely nervous and fearful during fireworks displays. If your pet is noise-averse, keep them in a quiet place in the house (such as an interior bathroom, closet or another room with few windows) and play white noise or music to try to drown out the loud firework noise. Distract them with treats and toys. If you cannot be home during the fireworks display, it is safest to keep them in a crate or other small enclosed area. Thunder shirts can also help some dogs feel more safe. Keep in mind that dogs also have a larger range of hearing than humans; therefore, it is best to keep them as far away from fireworks displays at possible.
If your pet is showing signs of injury, toxic exposure, GI obstruction, or hyperthermia, please call Park East Animal Hospital at 212-832-8417. Our doctors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide the best possible care for you and your pets.