Halloween marks the start of the holiday season! The children count down the days until they get to dress in their favorite characters, and get spoiled with candy and treats. Parents decorate, pick out the perfect costumes for kids and pets, and stock up on candy. Although Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, it is typically one of the most dangerous holidays for pets. As a small animal veterinarian, it is a common time of year that I see pets for getting lost, emergencies, and illness. So today, I would like to discuss the top pet emergencies and illnesses associated with Halloween and how we can prepare to keep our pets for a safe and fun holiday. Lets get started:
- Place the human treats out of reach of your pets. The most popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate can be very dangerous for cats and dogs. Sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause serious problems in pets. Keep the HUMAN treats away! I know firsthand it is difficult to watch your pets sad face as they look at everyone eating and enjoying, and just want to be a part of it. There is no need to let your pet feel left out and not let them indulge on the holiday that celebrates eating treats. I tell all my pet parents to have your favorite dog treats easily accessible during the holiday festivities. I absolutely love and trust Wellness CORE pet treats. These treats have all the highest quality ingredients.
- Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Away From Pets. Pumpkins are popular decorations that can pose a dangerous hazard, especially when used as jack-o-lanterns. Kittens and puppies are especially at risk of getting burned by candle flame. Although pumpkins and decorative corn are nontoxic, they can cause stomach discomfort in pets that nibble on them.
- Be Careful with Costumes. Nothing is cuter than seeing our pets in adorable Halloween costumes. However, unless your pet is used to getting dressed up, I do not recommend it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, check the costume for small, easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Make sure the costume does not limit their movement, vision or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Costumes that do not fit properly can get twisted on your pet, or caught on external objects leading to injury.
- Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable. With all the trick-or-treating, and visitors arriving at your door, Halloween can often be scary and stressful for pets. I recommend dogs and cats be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours unless you are certain they are very social. Also, the constant opening the door for trick-or-treaters can lead to escaping pets. Always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification. I always recommend microchipping your pet.
Happy Halloween everyone! I hope this helps all my pet parents out there be more aware and prepared for all the possible Halloween pet emergencies. I always tell all my pet parents, be conscientious of the possible dangers, but do not forget to enjoy and have fun with your pet during the holiday. Make sure to spoil them extra with some yummy HALLOWEEN TREATS just for them and take lots of cute pictures. My goal always is to keep our pets safe and healthy. As much as I love seeing them walk in through my doors, I prefer to help avoid “sick” trips to the veterinarian. Happy Halloween everyone!