Top 5 Halloween Pet Hazards

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Are you excited for Halloween? Here are the top 5 Halloween pet hazards. Keep these in mind to ensure your furry friends have a safe and fun holiday.

1.  For most of us, Halloween equals candy. Warn children not to share their treats with your four-legged friends. Chocolate and other sweets contain ingredients that are toxic to our pets.

  • Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures and death.
  • Sweets containing the “sugar-free” sweetener xylitol are especially poisonous, causing rapid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure in dogs.
  • Other candies, such as lollipops and those with plastic components, pose a danger if ingested. Lollipop sticks and plastic parts can cause intestinal obstructions and potentially rupture the intestines, which can result in a life-threatening emergency.

   If you suspect that your pet has eaten any of the above, consult your veterinarian.

2.   A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do use caution if you choose to add a candle. Wagging tails and rambunctious play can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned by candle flames.

3.  Keep your pets safe and indoors on Halloween night, especially black cats. Animals are at a higher risk for cruel treatment by some Halloween pranksters.

  • All but the most social pets should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours.
  • Too many strangers (especially in costumes) can be scary and stressful for pets.
  • When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, be mindful of your pets whereabouts, some pets might dart out the door while you are busy handing out treats.
  • Make sure your pet has an up to date i.d. tag, check that it is legible and consider adding a reflective collar or gear as a precaution.

4.  Costumes can be a fun way to add to your Halloween experience, consider these tips before you choose:

  • The costume should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow.
  • Be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or have him wear a festive bandana.
  • A pet in costume should never be left alone and unsupervised.
  • Tight elastics on the costumes can get lost in the pet’s hair, potentially causing owners to overlook them, leading to swelling and pain in the area of the elastic.
  • Some pets, if left alone in costume, may chew it up and ingest it. This could cause intestinal obstruction if more than small shreds of material are consumed.

5.  Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

All this being said, pets can be a very fun part of your holiday experience. Just be sure to think of them when you are making your plans. Stay safe and have a Happy Halloween!

Jodi G. Thomson was born and raised in Seattle WA, she and her husband relocated to Houston TX in 2010. She enjoys writing and spending time with her husband and their pets.

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