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Saint Patrick's Day is known for the fun atmosphere and celebrations, but what might be fun for you may be scary for your pet. Before having your pet join in the festivities on March 17, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) wants you to take these safety tips into consideration. Fotolia 78348844 Subscription Monthly M

Pet Costumes
Before dressing your pet up for the holiday, WVMA Member, Dr. Ron Biese advises that it is important for the costume to fit your pet and for them to feel comfortable.

"It is important to not put anything on too tightly especially if you use elastic bands like a rubber band," says Dr. Biese. "They should not be applied to the limbs or ears, because they can cause blood flow restriction. That can lead to tissue that will swell and can even die and slough off."

Daily Walks
An afternoon or evening stroll might be part of your pet's normal routine, however there might be some festivities going on that will make your pet uncomfortable.

"Anxiety can be a horrible feeling for your pet," says Dr. Biese. "Avoid festivities if your pet exhibits signs of anxiety which includes panting, tail tucking, shaking and reluctance to move or drooling."

If you see you pet exhibiting any of these signs, he recommend removing them from the festivities.

Alcohol
Green beer may flow freely on Saint Patrick's Day, but that doesn't mean your pet should partake as well. "Alcohol is bad for dogs on many levels," warns Dr. Biese. "They can stumble down stairs, or begin to vomit which can lead to aspirating stomach contents into their lungs resulting in pneumonia."

If you are planning on having people over for the holiday, keep containers closed and out of reach from your beloved pets.

If you have any questions about your pet's health, contact your local veterinarian. To find a veterinary clinic near you, visit www.wvma.org/findaclinic.

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4610 S. Biltmore Lane, Suite 107
Madison, WI 53718
Phone: (608) 257-3665
Fax: (608) 257-8989
Email: wvma@wvma.org

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