halloween pet safetyIn a perfect world, holidays would be wholeheartedly enjoyed by everyone without having to worry about any potential accidents or trouble. While pets can definitely participate in various holiday shenanigans, that doesn’t mean certain Halloween pet safety rules can be ignored. We all want the best for our pets, so as long as we maintain a cautious approach to this rather scary holiday (for pets and some people alike), our pets will remain safe from harm.

The Goodies

Possibly the largest offender to Halloween pet safety is–you guessed it–chocolate! Not only is chocolate highly toxic to pets, but it’s usually wrapped in plastic, foil, or cellophane, which is also harmful if swallowed. Remember, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. This has to do with chemicals in chocolate called methylxanthines, which work like caffeine and can cause poisoning in pets.

The ways chocolate can affect pets depends on the volume consumed. Please look out for any vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, elevated heart rate, or seizures if you think your pet got into the Halloween goodies this year.

Other Culprits

On a similar note, other trick-or-treat offerings can cause equal damage to a curious pet. Large quantities of high-fat or high-sugar candy can result in pancreatitis. It can take up to several days for symptoms of pancreatitis to appear, with signs such as vomiting or abdominal pain. Be sure to call us immediately if you know (or suspect) that your pet got into the holiday treats. Organ damage or kidney failure can occur and set in rapidly.

As we mentioned before, candy wrappers can also be extremely hazardous to pets. Avoid a painful gastrointestinal obstruction by keeping all candy out of sight and reach.

Raisinets? Not for Pets

While raisins seem innocuous, they too can cause kidney failure in cats and dogs. Like chocolate, even a small amount can cause serious damage to your pet’s health and wellness.

Similarly, treats sweetened with Xylitol should be avoided at all costs.

Costume Dangers

There’s no doubt that the main source of Halloween fun is the costumes. Many pets tolerate being dressed up, but others are not so sure. Many costumes restrict movements and any loose or dangling parts can become dangerous if ingested.

If your pet enjoys the revelry, by all means dress him or her up and take pictures! Just be sure that your pet can move freely, breathe, drink water, and answer nature’s call. Keep an eye out for any squirming, restlessness, whining, chewing on the costume, or other signs of stress or discomfort.

Decor Hazards

Jack-o’-lanterns are super festive, but try LED votives instead of wax candles. Not only will you save your pet’s whiskers or fur, but you’ll also reduce the risk of a house fire if a pet accidentally knocks over a candle.

Similarly, any decor that plugs in or uses lengths of extension cords should never be left on or close to the ground. Pets have been known to nibble on wires or cords, which can also cause entanglements or other injury.

Lastly, glow sticks or glow jewelry are not only choking hazards, but their chemical makeups can cause pain, irritation, or worse if chewed on or eaten. Do your best to keep these away from your pets at all times.

Halloween Pet Safety

Above all, make sure your pet stays safe and happy this Halloween by keeping him or her at home and, if necessary, behind closed doors. Update their microchip to reflect any changes in your contact information and be sure to keep an eye out for any stress or discomfort your pet may feel.

Please let us know if you have any further questions about Halloween pet safety or if your pet requires urgent care after a night of tricks or treats.