Labor Day Pet Safety Tips

Labor Day Pet Safety Tips

Labor day signals the unofficial end of summer and can also be a time of distress for dogs. While backyard cookouts are in full swing, your dog could be getting into some dangerous things. Fatty foods, hot grills, and cans full of delectable garbage can all lead to stomach upset or injury for your pet. We have some tips on Labor Day pet safety to help keep him safe this holiday weekend so everyone enjoys the last summer hoorah.

The Grill

All those juicy, mouth-watering steaks, hot dogs and hamburgers cooking on the grill sure smell good, and your pet thinks so, too. Despite the heat, it might be too tempting for him to stay away. Monitor the grill at all times to make sure your dog or cat doesn't jump up on the grill in search of something good to eat and come away with serious burns.

The Bones

Many pet owners don't realize how dangerous cooked bones are for their pets. Besides being a choking hazard, bones can cause broken teeth, mouth injuries, internal blockage or intestinal perforations. Do your dog a favor and dispose of bones properly.

The Garbage

It's no secret that dogs love garbage and Labor Day celebrations provide plenty of unsupervised access to lots of it. Barbecue garbage can cause gastrointestinal problems in your pet, so pay close attention to what he's doing and be sure all garbage is disposed of properly. Things like corn cobs, fruit pits, plastic or foil used to wrap food, shush-kabob skewers and other food related garbage can cause stomach upset, blockage or perforation in the intestines if eaten.

The Heat

We may be nearing the end of summer, but Mother Nature hasn't gotten the memo yet - the weather is still hot, hot, hot. Your pet loves being outside, too, but he's susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so keep a close eye on him and make sure he has access to plenty of cool drinking water. One way to help keep your pet cool is with our dog cooling products. All of our cooling products are on sale for the Labor Day holiday at 15% off!

The Food

Letting your pet eat too much fatty foods (hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.) can result in stomach upset or pancreatitis. Allow him to snack on a few healthy treats such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid feeding him fatty meats. Following these tips will ensure you and your pet enjoy a safe holiday weekend. Together, you both can have a great time with celebrating with family and friends. Happy Labor Day!


  • michelle

    Please advise people on which foods are safe for dogs and are dangerous:

    Raisins and grapes—
    As few as 6 grapes and raisins have caused acute kidney failure in some dogs.
    The toxic ingredient is not yet known.
    There is no treatment.
    AVOID feeding ANY grapes or raisins to your dogs.

    Fatty foods—
    The primary concern here is severe gastrointestinal upset- and in some cases Pancreatitis.
    This can be fatal in some pets- and it is ALMOST always triggered by a High Fat Meal, such as gravy or bacon.

    Alcoholic beverages—
    It is often sweet – attracting dogs and cats, but can cause serious and fatal intoxication. Don’t ever offer this to your pets.
    Here are some of the signs and side effects:
    • Incoordination/ataxia
    • Excitement
    • Depression
    • Excessive urination
    • Breathing rate is slowed
    • Cardiac arrest and death

    Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxic principle known as Persin. The Guatemalan variety is most toxic – but all have toxic potential. They cause vomiting/diarrhea – primarily gastrointestinal distress."

    Onions, onion powder—
    Onions contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate.
    Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop anemia. 1 Onion can cause this. Fortunately ALL dogs recover once they are stopped from ingesting onions.

    Potato peelings and green looking potatoes—
    Potatoes and other Solanum species, including the tomato, are members of the nightshade family of plants.
    These plants contain solanine and other toxic alkaloids which, if eaten in large enough amounts, can produce drooling, severe gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite, drowsiness, central nervous system depression, confusion, behavioral changes, weakness, dilated pupils and slowed heart rate.

    Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.
    Initial excitation.
    Increased drinking and urinating.
    Vomiting and Diarrhea.
    Theobromine causes an increased heart rate and arrhythmia –.
    Seizures can then be seen.
    Death is then possible.
    ACTION PLAN: Induce vomiting, give activated charcoal, and go to the Vet if depression and seizures begin. Baker’s chocolate and high cocoa content chocolate is the most toxic; the toxic dose is 2 baking squares for a 10lb dog. Regular chocolate bars have little real chocolate and are seldom toxic.

    Coffee (all forms)—
    Coffee contains dangerous components called xanthines, which cause nervous system or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation.

    Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums.—
    Ingestion of large amounts of stems, seeds and leaves of these fruits can be toxic.
    They contain a cyanide type compound and signs of toxicity include apprehension, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation and shock.
    Note – it’s the seeds and stems that contain the toxic component, not the fruit itself.

    Tomato leaves & stems (green parts)
    The green parts of the tomato plant are considered toxic because they contain solanine, which has the potential to produce significant gastrointestinal and central nervous system effects.

    Macadamia nuts—
    Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscles of dogs. This has lead to paralysis. A small number of nuts and even the butter can cause this.

    Xylitol is a artificial sweeter found in “SUGAR FREE” Products, such as gum, candy etc.
    Signs relate to a sudden drop in glucose (blood sugar), in-coordination, collapse and seizures.
    Avoid feeding any gum/candy to your pets.

    High levels of nutmeg can be toxic, even fatal.
    The toxic component is unknown.
    Signs of toxicity include tremors, seizures, nervous system abnormalities or death.

    WHAT to do IF your pet has eaten any of these toxic foods:
    Foods Dogs and Cats should NOT EAT
    TO YOUR VETERINARIAN. If your pet is showing signs of ingesting a poison, it is important that your veterinarian examines her and treated appropriately. Some toxins can progress and lead to severe seizures. If you suspect antifreeze poisoning, it must be treated within 4-6 hours, before irreversible kidney damage occurs.
    PURGE THE POISON. In most cases of poisoning, getting your pet to vomit is the most important thing that you can do. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING if something caustic has been consumed (such as drain cleaner or bleach). To induce vomiting, give hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs of body weight. If your pet doesn’t vomit in 10 minutes, repeat again. NEVER do more than 2 treatments of peroxide. You can also try salt: dilute 1 teaspoon of salt in a tablespoon of water per every 10lbs of body weight.
    DELAY ABSORPTION. Activated charcoal is readily available at most pharmacies. It delays absorption of any toxin by binding to the toxic compound in the stomach. The easiest way is to give the capsule form. For those garbage-eating dogs (such as my own dog) it is a good idea to have hydrogen peroxide and activated charcoal always on hand.
    PREVENTION. Ensure medications are always out of mouth’s reach. Become familiar with toxic plants (visit for a complete list) and remove those from your house, if your pet is a plant-eater. Keep your compost covered.
    Dr Andrew

  • topdog

    EXCELLENT information. Thanks for the GREAT comments.

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