Black and White Shih Tzu Ready For St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day and Your Dog: Our Holiday List of Do’s and Don’ts

Johnna Devereaux C.P.N.

Sláinte! In Ireland, raising a toast to a friend’s health is pretty common, and not just on St. Paddy’s day. But it shouldn’t take an Irish setter to point out that health isn’t just for humans, so why not take a minute this March 17th to review a few do’s and don’ts that help everyone stay happy and healthy.

Do get some fun dog treats, but Don’t feed them beer or corned beef

So what about just a little sip of green beer?

We know that grapes are dangerous for dogs, and, more and more, some of our dogs are finding themselves sensitive to grains (like in beer). But pound for pound and paw for paw, it’s really the alcohol that’s a no-no. Ethanol toxicosis, or alcohol poisoning, is a very real thing for our four-legged friends.

As with humans, the central nervous system becomes depressed, leading to problems with respiration, heart rate, and a thinned or reduced blood flow. But the real issue to be concerned with is that a dog’s kidneys cannot process alcohol at all and there is a huge risk of toxicity from even the smallest amount. So please don’t tempt your pup with even a touch of the stuff.

Pro tip: It’s not just bottled or canned beer to beware of! Keep curious canines away from home brewing setups.

White dog wearing St. Patrick's Day hat passed out near green beer bottle

And little bit of corned beef won’t hurt. Right?

Technically a scrap or two of corned beef is okay, but more simply won’t do. That’s because corned beef may be too high in fat for your pup’s digestive system. And if your pup’s body isn’t used to foods rich in fat—then you may be asking for trouble. The pancreas can be placed under too much stress if a sudden rise in fat is digested and inflammation can result—meaning you may be taking a trip to your veterinarian with a sick little friend.

So what can we feed Fido for our day of green? How about a fresh fruit, veggie snack, or superfood? Here is a list of the green foods they can eat:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Pears
  • Seaweed
  • Spirulina
  • Spinach

Pro tip: If you want your pup to get any nutritional value from the above foods you must break them down first.

We’re thinking, it’s green smoothie time! Take a combination of some of the items above and puree with unflavored, unsweetened organic Greek yogurt. This will deliver an extra special treat that supports your pup’s gut microbiome at the same time! Now how’s that for green fun!

Woman prepares green smoothie with dog in background

Do get them some flair, but Don’t color them green!

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that green! St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday for dressing up, even for the costume-shy or “I just don’t have timer to make a costume” folks, because the rule is simple: just a little green is all you need! And who else besides Fido could so effortlessly accessorize?

Get a bedazzled collar, go all out and cover them in a cute green doggie sweater, or top them off with a headband of shamrocks. You’re good anyway you go with dress-up, but stay far away from food coloring!

If done properly with non-toxic fur dyes for dogs, green coats can technically be safe for them. However, it takes a patient pup willing to sit to have it done right. If you’re in-the-know and a pro at safely dyeing your dog’s hair, then sure! However, if you’re a first-time hair-dyer, we respectfully suggest that you consider a sweater instead. Or proceed with the utmost care. In fact, did you know that in some states it’s illegal to dye your dog’s hair?

Don’t think you have to stay in, do go out and celebrate! 

Sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information on do’s and don’ts lists, and easier just to stay home, right? Sometimes, sure, but not all the time. And why not take advantage of a ready-made holiday to celebrate? You and your pup can don a little green and go out and be fabulous!

If you’ve got a dog who just loves people, or one that could use a little more socializing, consider finding a St. Paddy’s Day parade in your town to flaunt your flair.

Woman carrying sweet, pretty dog in green Irish hat at St.Patrick s Day parade

Another way to go? Dog-centric and -friendly bars and pubs are cropping up everywhere across the country. Check to see if you’ve got a local watering dish, ahem, hole and raise a pint and paw to the luck o’ the Irish.


You might also like: 

  1. 3 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy
  2. Thanksgiving No’s and Go’s
  3. Our Expert Guide to Halloween Safety

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