Parties and celebrations 

Written by Louise Horton RVN
July 9, 2024

With a possible period of celebrations upon us, our team of Registered Vet Nurses offer these top tips for celebrating with your pet. 

When the weather is good and there is cause to celebrate, we often choose a garden or street party for the occasion. While our pets are important family members, they may not appreciate a party as much as we anticipate. What is fun for us can cause stress to them. It is important to ensure we plan with them in mind, so everyone can stay safe at the event. Some small adjustments can make a big difference. 

Warm Weather 

Although we may not be blessed with tropical temperatures for most of the year, we do get lucky occasionally.  

Here are some top tips to make sure your pet stays happy and healthy:

  • Make sure there is adequate water to drink.  
  • Provide adequate ventilation.  
  • Avoid exercising dogs in the heat of the day – walk your dog in the morning and late evening  
  • Be aware of how hot the pavement is – if it feels hot for you to touch then it could be painful for your dog to walk on
  • Watch out for early signs of heat-stroke – heavy panting, restlessness, and lack of coordination
  • Don’t let your dog rest in direct sunlight – this includes inside conservatories, in front of windows, outside and NEVER in a car.  
  • If any heat related condition is suspected, pets should be taken to a cool place, given water to drink whilst seeking advice

Food Safety 

Parties and celebrations may be popular over the next few days. These are enjoyable for all the family. However, we need to be aware of the dangers to pets. Politely ask your guests not to feed your pets.  

  • Greasy burgers, sausages etc. could cause digestive upsets and more serious conditions such as pancreatitis.  
  • Barbeque food gets very hot so keep a close eye on your pet in case they get tempted to jump up and snatch a sausage or burger straight from the barbeque. They can also cause burns or harm themselves from the barbeque itself.  
  • Keep rubbish in a secure container or move bags out of reach to prevent pets from eating scraps or unsuitable food.  
  • Cooked chicken bones, if ingested, can be fatal as the bone will shard and cause injury as it tries to travel through the digestive tract.  
  • Kebab skewers are dangerous if ingested, they can pierce the gastrointestinal tract and cause real issues very quickly.  

Party Games 

Although you may be able to safely involve your dog in parties and celebrations, please be aware that crowds of people, cheering and running about, can be incredibly stressful for them. Here are a few things to consider to keep them safe and happy at your street party. 

  • Would your pet be happier either temporarily back home, or safely restrained in a quieter area to observe the celebrations? 
  • Small  items can be easily ingested especially if your pet is chasing them excitedly. Please ensure items that may cause a risk are kept away from your pet. 
  • People running about can be a cause for concern. Accidents such as trips and falls can be as damaging for your pet as the person falling. Ensure your pet is kept at a safely maintained distance to avoid these issues. 
  • Small children can become loud and fast moving when excited. This can be incredibly stressful for your pet. Please keep them at a safe distance and monitor their interactions carefully.  

We hope you have a great time if you are attending any parties or celebrations. Your pets will appreciate the occasion more because you have considered their welfare throughout. Keeping your animals safe and your guests happy will ensure a successful and fun event for all.  

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