Candy is for kids, not for pets! Most people are aware that chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous, but raisins and sugar-free candy are also toxic. Ingesting too many goodies can cause stomach upset or pancreatitis, and wrappers could cause intestinal obstruction. Dogs especially can smell and steal candy, so keep the candy bowl safely away from pets.
The arrival of noisy ghosts and goblins at the door can be scary and stressful for pets. Dogs and cats should be kept in a quiet room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. If your dog has noise phobias give the usual doses of anxiety medications. Also consider a calming product like Zylkene, or Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs. Make sure your pet is microchipped and wearing proper identification if for any reason he or she does escape. Halloween is second most common time for pets to be separated from their owers.
Never leave pets out in the yard on Halloween! Pranksters have been known to go tease or injure pets. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. Many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
Be aware of decorations. That festive jack-o-lantern can be easily knocked over and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Although pumpkins are considered relatively nontoxic they can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them. Other decorations can be swallowed and cause intestinal obstructions, and electrical wires are shock hazard.
Be careful with costumes. For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. Don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it by trying it on before the big day. If you do decide dress up make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard.
If you suspect your pet has ingested some chocolate or candy please call our hospital immediately at 905-855-2100. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week, even on holidays!
Keeping your pets safe for Halloween doesn’t have to be tricky! Happy Howl-o-ween!!
Written by Dr. Gibbon, DVM
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