Halloween may be a fun night for trick-or-treating and festivities, but it can be particularly spooky and possibly dangerous for our four-legged friends. Here are some tips to help make sure that this Halloween is a safe one for pets and people alike:
Chocolate, the deadly candy
Chocolate is very toxic to pets. They can’t metabolize the chemicals in chocolate like humans. Unfortunately, many dogs are tempted by chocolate. They like the smell and taste. The amount of chocolate that is toxic varies depending on the type of chocolate (dark is the most dangerous) and the size of the pet. However, it’s best never to take chances. Keep chocolate out of reach from all your pets, and work with your little ones to ensure humans are the only ones who share in the Halloween bounty.
Candy in general
Pets love tasty treats and will eat as much as they can if given the opportunity. Eating large amounts of high sugar or high fat foods like candy can lead to pancreatitis, a potentially fatal and very painful inflammation of the pancreas. Just like chocolate, all candy should be kept out of your pet’s reach.
Grapes & raisins are poisonous, too
Some people offer healthy snacks, like raisins, to trick-or-treaters. These are very poisonous to dogs and to cats as well. They deserve the same caution and care that Halloween candy receives. Keep them out of your pet’s reach.
Let’s face it, if pets eat the candy, they’re not going to unwrap it. Even if they don’t get sick from the candy, those wrappers can cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction. Let’s be on the safe side and throw those wrappers away where pets can’t get at them.
Glow sticks and glow jewelry
Pets, cats in particular, love to chew on these items. While not usually life-threatening, their contents can cause pain and irritation in the mouth, as well as profuse drooling and foaming at the mouth.
Candles and Decorations
Restrict your pet’s access to candles, Jack O’ Lanterns and Halloween decorations. If knocked over, lit candles not only can burn your companion, but also become a fire hazard. Also, make sure all Halloween decorations are kept out of reach from pets, as they can be dangerous if chewed on or swallowed.
As trick-or-treaters come to the door, your pet could be frightened by the costumes or just the people in general. To avoid any pet making a mad dash for the door or injuring a trick-or-treater, consider keeping your pet crated or contained to a room where access to the door is not available. And in case of emergencies, make sure your pet’s tags are up-to-date and on.
If you plan for your pet to wear a Halloween costume, make sure the outfit is safe and comfortable. Pet costumes should not inhibit your pet’s ability to properly breathe, hear or move, nor obstruct his vision. Do not put your pet in a costume if he appears to be exhibiting any signs of discomfort or stress.
Make sure your pet wears a collar with an identification tag at all times. The ID tag should include your current address and phone number, so you easily can be contacted should your missing pet be found. You also may want to micro-chip your pet, in case his collar or tag becomes lost.