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March 8, 2013

Paw Prints: Help pets celebrate spring holidays safely

Two fun holidays fill this month’s calendar. That’s two reasons to celebrate, and at least two reasons to think how these celebrations may affect our pets.

St. Patrick’s Day is the first visitor. Bay Staters love this holiday. It reminds us of our heritage and gives us a chance to relax with friends.

Shamrock plants symbolize St. Paddy’s Day and are popular household accents in March. Be careful because they contain soluble oxylates, which can be toxic to pets. Fortunately for Fido and Fluffy, shamrock tastes bitter, so they rarely eat enough for serious toxicity. Nevertheless, it might be best not to tempt your luck on St. Paddy’s Day, and keep this plant away from your pets.

If you want to be festive with your pet on March 17, that’s OK. Add a few drops of green food coloring to Fido’s and Fluffy’s water, and they can have fun with you. Beer or other alcohol isn’t funny for four-legged creatures, so keep this safely away from your pooch and his pals.

The Easter bunny will hop into our homes a couple of weeks later. People celebrate Easter in many different ways. Here are a few ways to keep this holiday fun and safe for your pets, too.

If you have a cat, keep Easter lilies out of your home. Those beautiful, fragrant flowers are a favorite at this time of year, but they are deadly poisonous for cats. Without immediate emergency treatment, a nibble of leaf or flower can shut down your cat’s kidneys in a day.

Other lilies found in cut bouquets are toxic, too. So if a well-intentioned guest stops by with fancy flowers, do a quick lily check. It could save your cat’s life. Fortunately for Fido, only felines are susceptible to this serious and rapid renal toxin.

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