Halloween is tomorrow, and while the costumes, candy, and commotion are fun for people, they are less fun for pets. Even the most extroverted pets can become uneasy from crowds of people and ringing doorbells, and some candy and decorations can put their health at risk. The Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society suggests the following tips to keep pets safe on Halloween:
Leave your pet at home and indoors. It’s tempting to take your dog out trick or treating, but it’s hard to predict how even the calmest, most friendly dogs will behave around a large crowd. Additionally, some people are, unfortunately, more interested in tricks than treats, and might harass your pet if it is left outside, which can cause stress and lead to a possible injury.
Keep your pet in a safe and comfortable place. Even when pets are indoors, they can still be at risk in households with trick-or-treaters. The sound of the doorbell, screams from children, and frequent opening and closing of the door can cause anxiety in pets, and their instinct might be to flee out the door.
Make sure your pet has all the necessities – collar and tag, vaccinations, microchip – just in case. It’s unlikely that a pet kept in a safe place will escape, but it’s always important for them to wear a collar and tag and/or microchip with an up-to-date address and phone number and have current rabies vaccinations to promote a reunion and prevent deadly diseases in the event they become lost.
Be careful with decorations. Jack O’Lanterns, hanging lights, cobwebs, and other Halloween decorations may look like a toy to your pet, and they can be harmful if chewed or eaten. Find a safe place for them where your pet can’t reach them.
Don’t let them get into Halloween goodies. Many Halloween treats are harmful to pets. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats, and the darker the chocolate the more deadly it will be. Candies that are high in sugar and fat can also cause issues like pancreatitis, and even raisins, a healthier option for humans, are poisonous for pets.
Know where to go in case of an emergency. No one anticipates something happening to their pet, so it’s always important to be prepared. Have your veterinarian’s number handy and know where the closest emergency clinic is to eliminate stress and get your pet treatment as quickly as possible.
Although Halloween is fun for the family, it is not fun for the whole family. In addition to causing unwanted behavior in your pet, the stress from the holiday can manifest itself through a variety of illnesses that can affect them long after it’s over.
For more pet tips go to www.davms.org and click the “Resources for Pet Owners” page.