How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Saint Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is this week! Celebrations for the Irish and Irish-at-heart include drinking green beer, eating corned beef and cabbage, and attending rowdy parades.

Since we at Valet Vet are always most concerned about the welfare of your pets, here’s a few common St. Paddy’s dangers to avoid:

1. Alcohol. Alcohol is highly toxic to pets, so keep your beer and other adult beverages out of Fluffy’s reach. Signs of alcohol toxicity in dogs and cats include vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. If you notice these signs and/or your pet accidentally consumes alcohol, contact your closest emergency veterinarian.

2. Crowds. Be mindful of your pet’s safety at parties and parades. From barbecues to crowded bars, there are many places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and many are dog-friendly. If you bring Fido, remember to provide plenty of fresh water to avoid dehydration. Also, keep a close eye on your pet, as many dogs and cats can experience anxiety in environments with loud noises or busy crowds.

3. Decorations. Strings of green beads are often given out at St. Patrick’s Day events. These plastic necklaces seem harmless until your dog or cat gobbles one. Cats love to play with anything string-like, and young dogs are liable to eat just about anything. Hide the beads, glasses, and streamers so you avoid a trip to the animal ER.

In the spirit of celebration, all pets deserve a holiday treat! Here are a few wonderful GREEN treat recipes for all the animals in your life. (If a species of your interest isn’t listed, please contact us for suggestions!) As with most treats, these are not meant to replace a healthy diet and should be given sparingly.

*Green Grain-Free Treats (good for all animals, even humans)*

1 cup fresh green beans, cut in half
1-2 TBSP oil (olive, coconut, or vegetable)

Add green beans and oil to a mixing bowl and toss to coat beans. Evenly spread green beans on a large, non-stick baking sheet. Dry beans in the oven for 8 hours or until all beans are crunchy.

*Green Minty Dog Biscuits*

1.5 cups buckwheat flour (or other whole grain flour)
4 TBSP fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh mint, finely chopped
1 TBSP pure honey
2 TBSP olive oi
1 egg, beaten
1-3 tsp water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir buckwheat flour, parsley, and mint leaves together until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and honey. Pour olive oil-honey mixture into the flour and stir. Add egg and stir until well combined. Knead the dough to thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Add a teaspoon of water at a time to help the dough come together. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Roll the dough flat and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter or knife. Place biscuits onto a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.Store biscuits in an airtight container in the fridge to keep fresh.

*Green Doggie Ice Pops*

1 cup of kale, spinach, or other leafy green vegetable
2 tsp of Coconut Oil
1/4 cup of flavored water or chicken broth

Blend it all together in a blender or food processor, then pour into ice cube trays. Freeze for about 2 hours, then give to your dog as a frosty treat!

*Green Cat Salad*

1/4 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup chopped alfalfa sprouts
1/8 cup chicken or fish stock
1/8 teaspoon of minced catnip for garnish

Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl and toss. Serve sprinkled with the minced catnip on top. Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in a refrigerator for up to three days. Many cats like greens, but indoor cats usually don’t have access to the grass they crave. This special treat should satisfy your cat’s craving for something green.

*Green Rabbit Cookies*

1 small carrot, pureed
1/2 banana, mashed until really creamy
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup timothy hay rabbit pellets, ground finely in a coffee grinder
1 bunch of leafy greens (ex: parsley, basil, cilantro, carrot tops, collard greens), chopped finely
Mix pureed carrot, banana, greens, and honey in a medium bowl. Add pellet powder. Mix until blended. Knead in your hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll out the dough, and cut into small cookies (about 3/4 inch across). Bake on parchment covered cookie sheet at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes (check to make sure they are not browning too much). Turn off the heat and let the cookies sit in the warm oven for an hour or so.

*Green Birdie Bread*

1 package cornbread mix (try to get one low in sugar)
2 eggs, shell included
1/2 cup seed mix
1/2 cup pellets (any brand you prefer, crushed into coarse powder)
1 cup mixed green vegetables (ex: spinach, kale, green beans, peas, edamame)

Mix ingredients together per package instructions and adding the extra ingredients above. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Cut into small pieces to give as treats. Freezes well.

*Green Tortoise Snack* [also good for iguanas and other herbivorous reptiles]

1 cup chopped Opuntia/ prickly pear cactus pads
1 cup chopped raw green beans
1 cup shredded raw squash (acorn, butternut, banana, kabocha, pumpkin, summer)
1/2 cup shredded raw parsnip
1/2 cup alfalfa pellets or 1/8 cup alfalfa powder from the health food store
1/4 cup fruit (berries, grapes, banana)

Mix thoroughly together; serve on flat plate in small portions. Store in a sealed food storage container. Stays fresh for 6-7 days. Additional quantities may be frozen.

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