Halloween Tips for Your Pets
Halloween is full of spooky fun, but it's a holiday that could also be
full of dangers if people aren't cautious. People take extra care to make
sure children's costumes, candy and trick-or-treat excursions are safe,
but what about their pets? These same Halloween traditions can also be
hazardous to animals.
Pets may want to loot the Halloween candy as much as kids and adults,BUT
chocolate, baked goods and other treats can be toxic to animals. A
chemical in chocolate -- theobromine -- is toxic to dogs. They can't
metabolize it. Chocolate also has a lot of caffeine and sodium, which in
some cases can trigger a medical emergency. Sugar-free candy and treats
often contain xylitol, which is also very harmful to pets. The wrappers
can also be dangerous as they can sometimes cause reactions in the
stomach, or can cause intestinal blockages.
Halloween is the second most common holiday for pets to get lost. The
Fourth of July is the most common. A parade of trick-or-treaters in
colorful costumes means there are many opportunities for pets to run out
the front door. Kids dressed up and making lots of noise can scare pets,
and they may try to escape and part of that escape may be accidentally
biting a child or an adult. Some animals get stressed easily and the chaos
and excitement can cause a lot of anxiety.
Burning candles or lit jack-o-lanterns may accidentally burn the nose of
a naturally curious cat or a dog sniffing. If a candle is on a counter or
in a window or inside a pumpkin, tails can catch on fire if it gets
knocked over, especially true for cats.Sseasonal potpourri, in addition to
the burn risk, can cause an electrolyte imbalance in cats that tend to
like the taste of it. Scented items can also irritate lungs of pets.
Many people choose to have their pets dress up for the holiday. Just as
with children's costumes, pet owners should be aware of a few safety
pointers before choosing something for their pet to wear. Be sure pets
aren't too constricted or overheated. Costumes should allow for an
unobstructed field of vision and should be free of decorative items that
pets can chew or swallow. Make sure they are not going to get themselves
tied up in it and fall down steps or injure a paw. Costumes also shouldn't
interfere with breathing, hearing or opening the mouth.
Some adults opt to give trick-or-treaters healthier snacks, and it's not
uncommon for children to come home with little boxes of raisins among
their stash. Raisins and grapes may be very toxic to the kidneys for
certain dogs. The exact cause is not known and this only occurs in some
individual dogs. Pet owners who want to offer a healthy treat should
choose carrots or apples (NO SEEDS!) which do not cause the same
potenially toxic effects.
May all enjoy a safe and happy Halloween!!!
Brought to you courtesy of Berkshire Veterinary Service ( also operating
Berks Mobile Veterinary Service). If you have any questions or concerns
for your pet this Halloween, please call us at 610-944-3100 for more