For many pet owners, Halloween is a great time to break out the funny costumes and capture some photographs of their pet in disguise, usually much to the chagrin of their pet. But along with the fun and festivities come a host of hazards that owners should be aware of as they head into the Halloween hoilday season. As with any other holiday, there are new and unfamiliar items and activities that can prove potentially harmful for household pets.
Some of the most common things that we humans associate with Halloween, such as candy and decorations, can oftentimes be unsafe for our pets. Pet owners should monitor the following during this festive time:
Chocolate can be potentially dangerous to many animals. Generally, the higher the cocoa content, the more toxic it is for a pet. Keep any chocolate out of animals’ reach at all times.
Many conventional Halloween candies contain the sweetener xylitol, which is highly toxic for many pets. Be sure to educate others, especially children, about the dangers of candies for pets.
If accidentally ingested, candy wrappers can cause vomiting and intestinal damage, so look for any loose wrappers or plastic left discarded on the floor.
The consumption of alcohol can have serious consequences for pets, including comas and respiratory failure. Never allow anyone to give your pet alcohol, even if they see it as a joke.
Make sure to keep any plants, pumpkins, or decorative accents out of the reach of pets. Also, be mindful of electrical wires and cords to avoid any risk of electrical shock.
Depending upon the pet, frequent visits to the door and doorbell rings can be stressful. Based on your pet’s behavior, be sure to provide a quiet, safe haven for them. Also, anticipate your pet’s reaction to strangers in costume; pets may respond aggressively toward costumed visitors if frightened.
While oftentimes hilarious, pet costumes can also be deadly if not properly monitored. Make sure your pet is never left alone while in costume, to avoid any possible risk of suffocation or ingestion.
If possible, try to keep your pets indoors on Halloween night. Some pets, especially black cats, are targeted by pranksters and can be at risk for cruel treatment.
Halloween can be a great time for pet owners and pets alike, with the right amount of awareness and caution for the hazards that exist.
For more info: Contact your local animal shelter or veterinarian and ask them for additional tips on how to keep your pet safe during the Halloween season.