With Halloween just around the corner, here are a few items to be mindful of concerning your pets.
That big bowl of candy in your home is for people only; it’s not an appropriate treat for your pet. Chocolate in any form can be toxic or even fatal to your furry friends as well as an artificial sweetener called xylitol, commonly found in candy.
Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures and death. If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Even worse than the ingredients in the candy is the packaging that it comes in. Cellophane wrappers, foil, a sucker sticks can cause choking and bowel obstructions and possible intestinal ruptures for your pet. Let’s face it; they won’t take time to unwrap the candy should they get to the bowl.
If you chose to dress your pet in costume please be mindful of how the costume is made. Use caution as you would with a small child. Choose a costume that doesn’t have dangling pieces or straps that can cause discomfort or possible choking with your pet. Never use facemasks that will obstruct the animals view or hinder normal breathing, barking, or meowing. If your pets displays any kind of distress being dressed in costume, its better they go without.
Keep in mind the pets in your home when you display holiday decorations. Electrical decorations will have cords you will need to keep out of reach of pets in your home that may chew. Biting into a live cord will cause electrical shock that can be fatal. Make sure to hide and situate cords where they will not be tripped over or entangled in your pet’s legs.
While Jack-O-Lanterns are a lovely show for Halloween be mindful of where you place them should you choose to light them with a candle. Pets can knock them easily to the floor by jumping on or bumping furniture or simply with the swish if a tail, causing fire in your home. A curious cat or kitten could easily burn their face or whiskers on a mission to inspect your glowing pumpkin.
While not toxic, pumpkins and gourds commonly used to decorate homes for Halloween can cause stomach upset in pets if eaten.
If you have trick-or-treaters coming to your home on Halloween night, remember that only the most social animals should be allowed out an about in the home during this time. So many knocks at the door and strange disguised faces can be stressful on any well mannered pet. If you haven’t already confined your pet to a quiet room for the festivities and all the comings and goings of the evening, watch for signs of agitation or stress in your pet. If noticeable signs are present, find a quiet place for your pet to rest and be away from the activity.
When opening the door for trick-or-treaters take care that your pets doesn’t use the opportunity to escape.
Make sure that your pet has proper identification just in case an escape occurs. Collar tags and microchip are recommended any time of year.
Do not leave your pets outdoors during the Halloween season, especially black cats. With the stigma that surrounds Halloween small animal abductions are reported frequently this holiday season more than any other.