Tips & Information

Tips & Information

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Keep your pets safe on Halloween

Halloween Pet Healthy Tips
Halloween Safety Tips

Pet Costumes-a Do or a Don’t? As long as your dog or cat isn’t anxious or uncomfortable wearing a tutu or Batman costume, go for it. At least get the picture before the cat or dog shakes off the bunny ears. Cats tend to be more resistant to any type of masquerade, and we need to respect their boundaries. If you are concerned about your dog’s dignity, then you can always teach him or her to wear a backpack and carry the Halloween candy. Always ensure that your pet can’t get caught up in the costume or accidentally strangle on straps or fabric if panicked.

The only treats your pets should receive at Halloween should come from the pet store or your local veterinary office. Chocolate may be toxic to dogs by causing a racing heartbeat, tremors, kidney failure, seizures, and death when eaten in sufficient quantities. Milk chocolate is less toxic than dark chocolate or baker’s chocolate, but any treat containing cocoa can be dangerous if consumed in large enough quantities. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener in gum and other treats that can also be poisonous to pets. Don’t forget that pets don’t usually unwrap goodies before eating them, and often swallow the wrappers with the candy or chips. Plastic and foil can damage the lining of the intestinal tract and in extreme cases can cause obstructions.

Always directly supervise pets, especially puppies and kittens, around burning candles. Tragic house fires can result from a rambunctious pet knocking over pillars and tea lights. Electrical cords associated with indoor and outdoor decor may also cause serious mouth burns and electrocution when pets chew on them. Remember that safety must always come first when it comes to pets and household hazards.

How does your pet adapt to lots of activity in your house and at your front door? We certainly don’t want to see scared pets on Halloween. Dogs may be more comfortable in a quiet room or in their kennels and away from the noise and excitement. Other dogs may really enjoy all the attention and like the visitors coming into your home. You do need to be cautious about dogs who are uncertain around strangers and who may be at risk for nipping at children or trying to escape from the house. Cats should be confined to an area of the house where they cannot accidentally slip outside. Although Halloween is generally considered a fun time, it is advisable to keep cats, especially black cats indoors the week before and after the big night. Unfortunately, there will always be cruel people who will harm pets for unimaginable reasons.

Halloween is a good time to remind pet parents to ensure their furry loved ones are properly identified with a microchip or tattoo. Collars with tags often are helpful to match a pet to their owners; they are useful as a back-up but may break or slip off and should never be considered a primary form of identification. If you have moved or changed telephone numbers since your pet was microchipped, tattooed, or licensed, make certain that you have updated this important information with the appropriate organization

Have a Happy Halloween! With a little planning, we can make this time of year a little less scary for our pets and more enjoyable for the whole family.