If you witnessed or strongly suspect your pet ingested something toxic, this is considered an “ORANGE” – or urgent case – on our Fast Track Triage system. We recommend calling ASPCA Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435 for help determining if your pet consumed a toxic amount and for guidance on what to do next. If veterinary care is advised, call your family veterinarian or local animal emergency hospital ahead of your arrival.
Father’s Day is an occasion on which we take a moment to appreciate the dads in our lives. If he’s a pet dad, you’ll want to choose a gift that won’t end his day with a trip to the animal ER! So, before you select that home brewing kit or that beard oil, read our list of dos and don’ts when it comes to these classic Father’s Day gifts.
1. Chocolate & Caffeine
Don’t gift Dad chocolate (which contains theobromine and caffeine), coffee grounds, or coffee beans – these are toxic to dogs and cats. They increase a pet’s blood pressure if consumed and can also cause cardiac arrythmias.
Do tell Dad if your gift is edible so he can keep it out of his pets’ reach. Better yet, skip the chocolate & caffeinated gifts for something that won’t endanger his pets!
2. Beer & Home Brewing Kits
Don’t gift Dad a home brewing kit. Since beer contains ethanol and hops, it’s toxic to pets. However, home brewing supplies are even more dangerous because pets can be exposed to a large quantity of these ingredients, as well as brewer’s yeast (which is even more toxic if it also contains garlic).
Do make sure Dad keeps his beer out of the pet’s reach while enjoying it, and if he really wants a home brewing kit, help him set up a secure area in a room that his pets will be unable to access.
Don’t give Dad anything containing xylitol – a sugarless sweetener often found in sugar-free baked goods, candy, gum, and other household items like dental hygiene products and shampoos. Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs and cats and can cause severely low blood sugar, as well as liver damage and liver failure.
Do read ingredient labels carefully. If it contains xylitol, pass!
4. Seasonings and Spices
Don’t gift Dad any seasonings, spices, or other food packaged in easy-to-open packets or bags – especially if the seasoning includes onion, garlic, salt, or nutmeg – which are all toxic to pets. Also, if a pet eats anything spicy, it may cause mouth, throat, or digestive irritation.
Do gift seasonings that are packaged in spice containers with a lid and remind him to store them out of his pets’ reach. Also, if Dad often shares food with his pets, gently let him know that pets shouldn’t have human foods, especially if they are covered in seasonings or spices!
5. Mixed Nuts
Don’t gift dad snack nuts – especially not macadamia nuts (which are toxic to dogs) or almonds (which can cause cyanide poisoning in cats). Also, snack nuts of any kind can cause GI upset or pancreatitis if eaten by pets.
Do let Dad know it’s an edible gift and to keep it out of the pet’s reach. If he really loves snack nuts, remind him not to feed any to the pets and to promptly pick up any that spill.
6. Beard Oils
Don’t gift Dad any beard oils, aftershave, or similar products that contain essential oils, especially ones that are toxic to pets like tea tree oil, wintergreen, pine, or peppermint. Just to name a few!
Do gift Dad non-toxic oils or other beard-care products, but triple-check those ingredient labels and crosscheck them with a pet poison database!
If you’re gifting Dad an electronic that requires batteries, don’t leave the batteries out where the pets can get them! If a pet’s teeth puncture an alkaline battery, it can leak potassium hydroxide which can cause chemical burns. Also, disc-shaped batteries can puncture the esophagus or stomach. Additionally, lithium button batteries can cause severe, even fatal, damage to the GI tract or esophagus. Lastly, some batteries contain heavy metals like zinc which is also toxic to pets (though it can take several days for symptoms to occur).
Do keep any batteries out of the pet’s reach and remind Dad to place any unused batteries in a secure location.
We know socks and ties are a classic Father’s Day gift and while they may not be toxic, they do tend to be hazardous and cause an obstruction if swallowed by pets.
Keep these dos and don’ts in mind as you search for that pawsome gift for the dad in your life. When in doubt, a gift certificate to his favorite store or restaurant, or even tickets to a local game, concert, or play are much safer ideas! You’re welcome! 😉
Looking for some pet-dad specific ideas? Search Etsy for “Dog Pet Dad” or “Bearded Dragon Pet Dad” – they have a lot of fun options for every type of pet mom including shirts, drinkware, photo frames, custom portraits, & more!