Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween is oh so spooky, yummy, and exciting. Dressing up as ghouls, ghosts, and our favorite characters can be fun, but although we may understand and enjoy it, our pets may not. Including them on the festivities can be enjoyed by all if the right precautions are taken.
Candy and Other Goodies
- Chocolate is highly toxic to our pets. The less sweet and bitter the chocolate is, the more toxic. Chocolate toxicity signs are vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), seizures, abnormal heart rhythm and rarely, death. If your four-legged friend ingests any type or amount of chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Their cute little faces may want you to share your candy, but refrain. Wrappers and small pieces of candy can pose as a choking hazard. An overindulgence of sugar will lead to pancreatitis which can also be deadly and requires hospitalization. Vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, kidney and other organ damage can be results of sharing your candy bounty, and signs may not appear until days after ingestion.
- Grapes and raisins are also highly toxic to dogs and cats. Even a small ingested amount can cause acute kidney damage.
- Sweets containing xylitol are very dangerous as well. Ingestion of anything containing xylitol, even the smallest amount, can cause a deadly drop in blood sugar. Larger amounts can lead to liver failure and necrosis. Signs of xylitol poisoning include: lethargy, weakness and collapse, vomiting, tremoring, seizures, jaundice, malaise, black-tarry stool, and even coma or death.
Ghosts, Ghouls and Pets
- As fun as we may perceive dressing up in our favorite costume, our furry family members may perceive it as scary. If you are going to host a party, make sure that your babies are used to the commotion and comfortable with the "scary scenery." It is always a good idea to place them in a room by themselves, with food and water. You can also use Feliway® or DAP® spray and/or diffusers along with a Thundershirt® to help lower any anxiety or stress. Playing soft music in the background can serve as a distraction to any of the noise from party-goers.
- Glow sticks and jewelry can be tempting chew toys for the curious kitty or canine. Although not toxic, the chemicals can cause mouth pain and irritation. Remove from your pet's mouth and wash the chemicals off the fur as soon as possible.
- As we may plan to dress the whole family up, including the four-legged members, remember that your pet may not be comfortable in a costume. Make sure that vision and airways are not restricted and if there are any beads or small decorations that could become a choking hazard, that they are monitored closely.
- With the door opening more as people go in and out, or as you treat your trick-or-treaters, keep a close eye on your pets. They may seize the opportunity to sneak out, or if they are stressed they may think they can seek refuge somewhere beyond the door. To keep them safe, make sure they have I.D. tags and/or a microchip with updated and accurate information.