Happy Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday”! Mardi Gras is celebrated with parades, brightly colored festivals, and delicious food. Many also overindulge in a select bad habit before sacrificing that habit for the six weeks of Lent to follow. Whether you choose to bring your dog to local festivities or enjoy favorite traditional Mardi Gras dishes and sweets at home, keep your pets safe from these potential Mardi Gras pet dangers!
Many sugary sweets, as well as fatty fried food, can cause pancreatitis in pets, when the pancreas becomes inflamed and requires veterinary care. Other concerns include toxic baking ingredients such as chocolate, xylitol, raisins, and yeast dough. So, if you’re planning to make homemade King Cakes or beignets, keep your pet out of the kitchen!
Spices and Seasonings
Many spicy foods and seasonings can upset our pets’ stomachs. This can cause pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Additionally, alliums (garlic, onion, leeks, and chives) and salt are toxic to pets.
Seafood and Meat
Just like in humans, uncooked or raw meat can sicken pets. Also, shells and meat bones are a choking hazard and can cause a blockage, which may require emergency surgery.
Although corn is non-toxic, corn on the cob is very hazardous. Pieces of cob can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction which may require endoscopic or surgical removal of the cob from the stomach or intestines. Note: Corn that is not on the cob is not hazardous.
Alcohol is toxic to pets. When consumed by pets, alcoholic beverages and alcohol-soaked foods cause drops in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature. Toxicity levels vary based on the type of alcohol and the amount consumed.
Marijuana and Edibles
Marijuana poisoning of pets is most commonly from ingestion of THC buds or edibles like baked goods and marijuana butter. Whether for medicinal or recreational use, always keep marijuana products out of your pet’s reach and keep pets in a separate room while these products are being used.
If having a celebration at home, be sure to secure trash cans and promptly take full trash bags to an outside can. Curious pets who get into the trash are at higher risk of developing food bloat or pancreatitis, and they are more likely to get into toxic or hazardous foods and items.
Beads, Masks, and Costumes
Beads, sequins, and other small embellishments on masks, costumes, or jewelry are potential choking hazards. Keep them out of your pet’s reach or don’t bring them into your home.
We hope that you and your pets have a fun and safe Mardi Gras! If your pet is exposed to any toxic or hazardous items, contact your family veterinarian or animal emergency hospital for guidance. For potential or known toxin exposures, you can also call ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435 for help determining what to do next.