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Posted on 10-13-2017

Halloween is coming!  Make sure this Halloween is a safe and enjoyable one for your pet. 

Candy

Candy is not an appropriate food for any pet. Aside from being too high in sugar, some candies can be toxic.  Chocolate contains theobromine, which in great amounts can cause vomiting, seizures, and cardiac arrest. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it will be for your pet. In addition to chocolate, the sugar and fat content of candy alone can cause pancreatitus. If your cat or dog shows signs of lethargy or vomiting after consuming candy, call a veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.

Wrappers

It’s not just the candy that can be harmful for your pet.  The foil or cellophane wrappers themselves can cause obstructions in your dog or cat’s bowels. If you suspect your pet has ingested candy foil, watch the dog or cat for signs of vomiting or distress. If he or she these signs, take the pet to a veterinarian.

Glowsticks

While a glow stick can certainly look like a cylindrical dog toy, it can cause your dog experience a burning mouth if he or she touches the dibutyl phthalate inside. Take your pet to the vet if he has chomped down on glow sticks and jewelry. She will salivate excessively and paw at the mouth. A cat will sometimes ingest more of the toxin than dogs by attempting to clean it off of his fur.

Frightening strangers, friends and family.

Halloween can be a frightening and overwhelming time for many pets.  People are dressed strangely, and strange children come and go to the pet’s home.  Some pets may be unafraid of costumed people, but instead will exuberantly bolt through the opened door that is constantly being opened for Trick-or-Treaters.  It may be best to simply keep your cat, dog, or other pet a separate room apart from the busiest part of the celebration.

Costumes and decorations

Pets can wear costumes too!  However, make sure your pet is actually comfortable wearing a costume.  Measure your dog or cat before purchasing a costume to ensure a comfortable fit.  If your pet is likely to chew on the costume when unattended, but costume will have to be worn for short times only under supervision.  If taken outside, be sure your dog has plenty of reflective material, and can see and smell where he or she is going. Ensure that your pet cannot trip on the costume. 

Be wary of any candles you use during the Halloween celebration. Some dogs may try to eat Jack-o’lanterns to get at the pumpkin inside.  Pumpkin itself is not harmful to your dog or cat, but the flame of a candle certainly is. 

Though Halloween may seem like a frightening holiday fraught with danger, you and your pet can have a safe but fun time.  Many treats and toys are available for your dog or cat on Halloween that are made especially for them.  Have a fun and safe Halloween!

By Laura Daniel

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