Halloween is just around the corner. Two days from now, all the ghosts and goblins will come out to prowl the streets and ask for candy and other goodies.
As a holiday, Halloween can be especially fun, allowing us to escape from our own reality for a short time and become something or someone else through the use of a cleverly designed costume. However, an emergency trip to the veterinarian with a sick or injured pet could certainly put a damper on your festivities. Here are seven tips to prevent that from happening. Use these tips to keep your dog or cat safe, sound, and healthy.
- Chocolate is toxic for both dogs and cats. Dogs typically have more of a sweet tooth than cats and are most likely to ingest chocolate. However, cats have also been known to be poisoned with chocolate treats as well. Different forms of chocolate have different levels of toxicity. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate, and white chocolate is the least likely to cause problems. Still, it is wise to keep all chocolate out of the reach of curious and/or hungry pets.
- Sugarless candy and gum often contain substance known as xylitol. Xylitol, even in very small quantities, can be fatal to your dog. One piece of chewing gum containing xylitol can be fatal for your dog, especially if your dog is small. Keep these treats far away from your dog.
- Grapes and raisins may be a healthy treat for your child and health-conscious neighbors with children may appreciate the act of giving out these treats rather than sugar-filled candy or cookies. However, for your pet, these items can be poisonous. Never allow your pet to ingest any grapes or raisins.
- Another Halloween threat for curious cats and dogs are strings, buttons, ribbons, and other items on costumes that can be swallowed. If you elect to dress your pet up for Halloween, be sure the costume is pet-safe. Keep an eye on pets around your own costume also, or those your children may be wearing.
- Glow sticks and glow jewelry often make up part of a Halloween costume also. These items may tempt a curious dog or cat into biting into the object. Symptoms seen when this happen are excess salivation and pawing at the mouth. These symptoms are due an extremely bitter foul taste given off by the chemical inside the glow sticks/jewelry. Fortunately, though the symptoms often look quite serious, there is actually very little real risk of toxicity. Rinsing your pet’s mouth or providing a fresh bowl of water for your pet to drink is usually all that is necessary to resolve the problem.
- The risk of an escaped pet is also high on Halloween as your door opens and closes repeatedly to accommodate costumed visitors. If necessary, move your pet to a separate area of the house or place a barrier in the doorway until you’ve closed the door permanently for the evening. Extremely shy or nervous pets may especially appreciate being away from all the festivities and having a private area to themselves.
- Make sure all pets (cats included) are indoors. Do not leave your pet outdoors unsupervised on Halloween.
Knowing that your pet is safe and sound will allow you to enjoy the Halloween festivities more fully yourself.