Labor Day Pet Safety

Sep 3, 2016

Okay, I'm ready for the picnic - where is everybody?
Credit Mark F Levisay [Flickr]

Although Labor Day is often seen as the kickoff to Autumn, it's still very warm and humid across most of the country.  If your pet is part of your outdoor gathering, watch to make sure it has a shady spot to rest so it doesn't become overheated.


Schools are back in session, and it’s still a few weeks until the official first day of Autumn, but Labor Day weekend often feels like the exclamation point at the end of Summer. So a lot of us will get together for games and maybe picnics or even set up the grill for the last celebration of the season. The Pet Poison Helpline has published some tips to keep your pet safe on Labor Day.

First, if there is a grill close by, it’s a good idea to designate a grill-guard, someone whose job it is to make sure a pet can’t get too close. Drippings from the grill may contain oil that can cause painful digestive problems for an animal. And of course, if a pet accidentally bumps into or overturns the grill, the animal, the people and anything else nearby could be in jeopardy.

Don’t let anyone give your pet a bone to gnaw on; make sure everyone knows to put them directly into a waste container when they’re done – bones can splinter when chewed and do major damage to an animal’s digestive tract. Same thing with corn cobs – they don’t splinter but if a pet swallows a large piece, it could cause an obstruction that may require surgery, so throw them in the garbage.

Fruit salads are popular summer fare and most fruits are fine. However, grapes are a problem for pets because they can actually result in kidney failure for an animal. Because they’re made from grapes, raisins pose the same threat. Other food dangers to pets include anything with onions or garlic.

When it comes to dessert, most folks know chocolate is a big no-no for pets. Another danger is Xylitol, a sugar substitute that can cause liver failure in dogs and cats. If you think your pet has swallowed something harmful, remember the Pet Poison Helpline is on call around the clock. There is a modest fee, payable by credit card, but their expertise may save your best friend’s life in an emergency.

During your Labor Day celebration, you want to be relaxed and have fun. Keeping your pet safe from things that could harm it will help ensure you both have a great day, when you’re speaking of pets.