Halloween marks the start of the holiday season! Children countdown 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. But it’s not always fun and games. Although Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, it is typically one of the most dangerous holidays for pets. Make sure you follow some key steps and make pet safety a no-brainer for your family with these tips for cats and dogs at Halloween.
Dr. Alison’s Top Tips and Tricks for Cats and Dogs at Halloween
As a small animal veterinarian, I see many lost pets, pet emergencies, and pet illnesses around Halloween. So today, I would like to discuss the top pet emergencies and illnesses associated with Halloween and how we can prepare our pets for a safe and fun holiday.
1. CHOCOLATE TOXICITY
Place the human treats out of reach of your pets. Did you know that 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 pet’s sad face as they look at everyone eating and enjoying and just want to be a part of it. The good news is that there is no need to let your pet feel left out! You can definitely 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 Side by Side pet treats. These treats have all the highest quality ingredients, and they’re tasty too!
2. DECORATION EMERGENCIES
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 candle burns. Although pumpkins and decorative corn are non-toxic, they can cause stomach discomfort in pets if ingested.
3. COSTUME MISHAPS
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 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.
4. LOST PETS
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, constantly opening the door for trick-or-treaters can lead to runaway pets. Always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification. Additionally, I always recommend microchipping your pet.
Final Thoughts on Safety for Cats and Dogs at Halloween
I hope this information helps pet parents be more aware and prepared for all the possible Halloween pet emergencies. Remember, be conscientious of the possible dangers but not to forget to enjoy and have fun with your pet during the holiday.
I certainly do not want your pets to miss out on all the delicious treats that make Halloween so much fun! Make sure to spoil your furbabies extra with some yummy HALLOWEEN TREATS just for them and take lots of cute pictures. This time of year is also the perfect time to introduce healthy whole food nutrition to our pets and provide them all the amazing health benefits of eating well. Side by Side is a great place to start when transitioning to a whole food meal plan for your pets.
My ultimate goal is to help keep your pets safe and healthy. As much as I love seeing them walk through my doors, I much prefer to avoid “sick” trips to the veterinarian.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Side By Side Pet Food is a whole food based diet that sources the highest quality ingredients. Side by Side cooks the food at the lowest temperature and for the shortest amount of time so that it does not lose the inherent nutrients from the ingredients. This method is unique from traditional kibble-based diets where ingredients are run through an extrusion process for 4-hours at very high temperatures to create the kibble. Kibble-based foods lose their inherent vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the cooking process. The kibble is typically sprayed with synthetic nutrients to replace the nutrients lost in the cooking process. Side By Side Pet Food does not use any artificial additives, preservatives, colorings, or added nutrients. All nutrients are derived from the inherent ingredients. Best of all, their foods meets all AAFCO requirements for complete and balanced nutrition.