Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Safety

Happy HOWL-oween!

Halloween is a time for everyone to have a little fun, and that includes our four-legged family members :) Whether you prefer dressing up or passing out candy, here are some potential dangers to keep in mind as you celebrate this spook-tacular holiday with your pets.

Candy: Candy may taste delicious, but never share any with your pets. Most people know that chocolate is very dangerous, as it can cause everything from vomiting and diarrhea to rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and neurologic problems. However, even non-chocolate treats can be harmful, especially if they contain the artificial sweetener xylitol. Even a small amount of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, loss of coordination, and seizures.

Never Leave pets outside alone around Halloween: Mischief-loving children and younger adults sometimes use the Halloween season as an excuse to tease, steal, or injure pets. It might sound crazy, but people do this. Please make sure that if your pet is out on Halloween night, you are out there with them and keeping a watchful eye at all times.

Beware of Halloween plants: Pumpkins and corn may technically be nontoxic, but they can cause gastrointestinal upset if pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can also occur from swallowing large pieces, such as a partial ear of corn.

Keep pets confined and away from the door: In the excitement of giving out candy to trick-or-treaters, it is easy for your pet to get spooked or run out unnoticed through the constantly opening and closing door. Your best bet is to keep your pets in a secure area away from the door. Be aware that some pets may also get anxious or territorial from all of the unexpected excitement.

Lit pumpkins: Be extra cautious if you have pumpkins that are lit with candles. Pets can easily and accidentally knock over a jack-o-lantern, which could result in fire or other injury.

Pet Costumes: Who doesn't love a pet in costume? If you choose to dress your pet up for the holiday, be sure to pick one that is the correct size so the costume is not restricting your pet's movement, hearing, or breathing. Also be aware of any loose pieces that may provide a tripping (or chewing!) hazard.

Try on costumes ahead of time: It's best to do a trial run before the big night. That way, you can make sure your pet is comfortable in the costume and can move without restriction. You also want to make sure he isn’t allergic to the fabric as well. Plus, a comfortable pet takes much cuter photos :)

Pet ID’s: Make sure your pet is wearing appropriate (and up to date!) identification before Halloween night. That way, if Fluffy unexpectedly dashes out the door or Fido slips his leash while trick-or-treating, you have a much better chance of getting them back.

Have a safe and hauntingly good time!