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Halloween can be a fun time for the whole family. It is natural to want to include the family pets. But while our pets can enjoy being with the family, to much excitement, to many noises and to many unfamiliar people can create stress not fun.
Here are some important things to remember so the Halloween scary times are fun times, not dangerous times for our pets.
PET SAFETY TIPS
1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
The best part about Halloween can be all the candy. But while kids and adults love to indulge, most candy can be harmful or fatal to dogs and cats.
A.All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. B.Worse yet are chocolate covered raisins. Not only is the chocolate dangerous, raisins (or any grape product) can cause severe kidney failure. If your dog ingests any chocolate covered raisins treat it like a medical emergency and get it to a veterinarian immediately. C.Many candies contain the artificial sweetener xylitol. Even in very small amounts this can be poising to dogs causing a sudden drop in blood sugar or even liver failure. While xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry. D.High sugar content candy, (like candy corn) which causes upset stomach and diarrhea. E.Candy with wrappers. Not only can the candy be bad for your pet but eating the wrapper can cause intestinal obstructions. F.Bite sized hard candies can be a choking hazard,
The best advice is no candy of any kind for any pet. Better be safe than sorry.
2. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.
Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. Make sure your black cats are safely housed indoors around Halloween.
3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Put your dog or cat in a secure crate or room away from the front door. The constant opening and closing as well as the presence of strangers can be highly stressful. Your pet may try to run away when the door is open or get aggressive towards the strangers
4. Keep glow sticks away from pets.
Glow sticks are a very popular part of Halloween and they help keep kids safe. Glow sticks however are not pet toys. While the liquid in a glow stick is not toxic it tastes horrible and can cause you pet to drool, be agitated and sometimes vomit. This will only add to the stress your dog or cat may already be feeling.
6. Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets.
If you are using candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween decorations, make sure to place them well out of reach of your pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire.
7. Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach.
While they are not as dangerous as lit pumpkins if your dog nervously chews on one it could cause lacerations on the outside and it swallowed, on the inside of the dog. The batteries too can cause chemical burns and gastrointestinal blockage.
8. Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know they'll love it.
If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn't dangerous or simply annoying to your pet. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. Pets who are wearing a costume should always be supervised by a responsible adult so that if something goes wrong, it can be addressed right away.
9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.
If you are going to put a costume on your pet make sure you try it on before Halloween. For several days prior put it on them for short periods of time, go slowly, help them feel comfortable. Give them praise and treats. Make it a positive experience. If after all that they still get upset wearing a costume do not force them. The stress it causes is not healthy
10. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that he or she will be returned. Collars and tags are ideal if a Good Samaritan is able to collect your wayward pet, but microchips offer permanent identification should the collar or tag fall off. Just make sure the information is up-to-date. Use Halloween as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports pet microchips.
WITH A LITTLE PLANNING AND ATTENTION HALLOWEEN CAN BE A FUN TIME FOR BOTH YOU AND YOUR PETS