BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) wants to remind pet owners that Mardi Gras is not always as fun for pets as it is for their owners.
While Mardi Gras is a season filled with parades, parties, food, King Cake, and more, it's important to pet owners to be aware of their pet's physical and emotional well being during the holiday season.
Vets at the LSU SVM say pets should not eat any type of human food, including King Cake and other food typically served at Mardi Gras parties or parades. These types of food can upset an animal's stomach and potentially cause GI issues. If pets consume alcohol, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms.
Everyone should have a great Mardi Gras holiday, including pets, even if that means leaving them at home. Dogs should not be brought to parades unless it is a parade specifically for pets. Conditions at parades are often loud and crowded, which can make pets uncomfortable. When scared or nervous, pets can become agitated and potentially bite. Other people at the parades also may not be comfortable with others' pets.
If a pet is brought to a parade, it should be secured on a leash, have water available, and owners should bring bathroom baggies for their pet.
Pet owners should also be mindful about their pets potentially swallowing Mardi Gras beads or other small throws. Pet costumes should be evaluated for safety, with ample breathing room and nothing on the costume that could be a choking hazard.
If a pet becomes sick after ingesting something harmful, contact a vet immediately. The LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital on Skip Bertram Dr. is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and is even open on holidays. Call the hospital at 225-578-9600 or visit www.lsu.edu/vetmed for more information.
For a full schedule of parades in the Baton Rouge area, click here.