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Happy Howl-ween! What You Need To Know To Keep Your Pets Safe

Posted 10.26.17 by Hannah Weimer, DVM

While Halloween is great time for an adrenaline boosting scare, its best to keep the frights confined to haunted houses and gory movies and leave your pets’ health and well-being out of it.  To better help you do that, I’ve compiled a list of tricks and tips to help keep your furry companions safe on All Hallows Eve.

  1. Don’t share the wealth. This is a situation where greed is absolutely acceptable.  Hold strong in the face of beseeching puppy dog eyes and seductive kitten purrs and resist the urge to share your Halloween candy with your pet.  While chocolate and candies containing xylitol (a common added sweetener) are the most well-known dangers, any sort of sweet treat can cause a variety of problems in our furry friends from mild GI upset to more serious gastroenteritis or even a GI blockage.  If you absolutely must share your candy with someone, there are ample volunteers at your nearest Pet Hospital location.
  2. Take stranger danger into account. While one of the best parts of Halloween is having goblins and ghouls show up on your doorstep, for many pets (especially nervous or over protective dogs) the stream of visitors in strange clothing can cause undue stress. For their safety and the safety of the trick or treaters, if your dog or cat is less than comfortable with sharing their home with strangers give them a safe quiet place to hang out away from the noise and activity of the front door.
  3. Keep an eye on the door. This goes out to all the cat ninjas out there. In the excitement of the night it’s far too easy for a feline shadow to make a dash out the door and into the night so be sure to know where your pets are at all times.  As an added protection, be sure that all dogs and cats alike are wearing collars with up to date information so they can find their way home safely in the event of a breakout.
  4. Costume carefully. I’m not going to pretend we don’t all love dogs and cats in adorable Halloween costumes (side bar, have you seen the costume contest taking over our Facebook page!?) but be sure that they are monitored closely while wearing them. Pets can contort in amazing ways and costumes can quickly become twisted causing discomfort or even difficulty breathing. Be sure that the costumes fit well, do not obstruct vision, contain loose pieces that can be chewed off and ingested, and are taken off before leaving your pet unattended.
  5.  Safeguard your decorations. There’s nothing more captivating than a well carved Jack-O-Lantern on the front porch

       to celebrate the season. Unfortunately, the flickering flames are intriguing to pets as well, kittens in particular. Be sure that when the lanterns are lit that they are placed in a pet free zone where they can’t singe curious paws or get knocked over by overzealous tails.

Dr. Hannah Weimer– The Pet Hospitals

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