It’s October and that means autumn leaves and Halloween for most of us.Fall colors and holiday planning become part of our lives.Pet are often included in the excitement of holidays, but we need to think about what they can and cannot do with us during our Halloween excursions.Here are some tips from your veterinarian about keeping our animal friends safe as Halloween approaches.
Candy is a common denominator in the days ahead.While we enjoy these sweet treats, there are potential dangers to our pets.Animals will frequently grab from bowls of available candy and this can cause problems for them in several ways.Chewy candy and gums can choke or cause intestinal obstruction.We are now aware that an artificial sweetener in these products can cause serious health problems in these animals.Foil wrappers and lollipop sticks are attractive to pets and can cause intestinal obstruction or become lodged in the pet’s mouth or throat.
Chocolate can be particularly dangerous and can be toxic to dogs.It only takes 8 ounces of milk chocolate or 1.5 ounces of unsweetened chocolate to cause illness in a 10 pound dog.For cats, the doses may be even lower.If your dog or cat consumes chocolate, then please contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic for information.An AnimalPoisonControlCenter is available for consultation at 1-866-426-4435.
Remember that we humans utilize a lot of candles and other decorations during this time of year that are very attractive to pets.They may want to investigate that Jack’O Lantern or that fragrant candle on the table.This can cause burns for the animals or be knocked over and produce a fire hazard for their human owners.Be careful and observant of these items over the holidays.
Decorations can always pose a threat to our animal friends.Strings of lights and fake cobwebs are tempting play items for pets and can cause electrical burns or digestive obstructions if consumed.Try to keep those out of reach and watch closely for your pet and their interaction with any new items in or out of the house.
Costumes on children and adults may frighten pets and cause them to react strangely.Remember that ourpets like routine and any upset to that routine will cause unusual behavior such as barking, trying to escape, or even biting.Putting costumes on your pet can be even more dangerous as these frequently have ties and rubber bands that can be restrictive to breathing and movement.If you want to dress your pet up, do it for the photo opportunity and then remove the costume.Most animals won’t walk around all day or night dressed up as it really impairs their functional movement.Put a decorative scarf of Halloween material around their neck which causes little obstruction and can be changed seasonally.Most pets prefer to wear their “birthday suits” for Halloween.
Trick or treating is made for kids and adults and really not for our pets.Many loud noises, strange looking costumes, large groups of people and cars can be very frightening for animals, even on a leash.It is best to leave pets at home and keep them in a quiet safe area such as a cage or bedroom during Halloween activities.
Outdoor pets can fall prey to Halloween tricksters.Cats are particularly at risk, especially black ones that are frequently used as a symbol of Halloween.Many shelters suspend adoption of black animals in the days surrounding Halloween.Keeping your cat away from the action prevents any injury and discourages any pranks by others related to the holiday.
Outside dogs who normally reside in their enclosed area can be the subject of pranks from older children and become frightened by all the late night activity.It is usually a good idea to pull both your outdoor cats and dogs in for the night that ghost and goblins are wandering the street. Doing this can deter any unforeseen activity and keep them from any bad experiences that may befall them if left outside.
Taking some simple precautions for your pets will make Halloween enjoyable for one and all.Making sure that our pets are safe means they can be part of our celebration without suffering any consequences.Trick or treating can be about treating our pets to a good time with harming them.
If you have a question about your pet, write to the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association, 201 S. Capitol Avenue, Suite 405, Indianapolis, IN, 46225.