Halloween is right around the corner! A night to dress up, have some candy, spook some people, Halloween can be a fun event for your family and your pets! However, including your pet in Halloween festivities requires some precautions. If several safety precautions aren’t followed, Halloween will not be fun, but a hazardous time for our four-legged friends.
As reports from the Poison Helpline show, calls increase by 12 percent on the week of Halloween, making this week one of the busiest times of the year. Avoid having to be one of the callers and protect your pet from any harmful situations on what should be one of the most fun filled nights of the year!
Here are some tips that are practical, yet potentially life-saving for your pet on Halloween:
1. Picking a safe costume. If you choose to dress up your pet, a simple approach is a safer approach. Pets can easily become tangled in elaborate, costumes with parts like strings, ties, belts and sashes. Tight fitting costumes can result in difficulty in mobility, which can lead to bodily injuries and even strangulation. Parts of a costume can become chewed and ingested and can in turn potentially lead to foreign body ingestion which can be life threatening to your pet.
2. Halloween Decorations and Fire Hazards. If you like to decorate your home in the Halloween spirit, take into consideration what you’re putting on display and where the decorations will be placed. Easy-to-reach decorations — or candles — can be eaten or knocked over, potentially leading to choking, foreign body ingestion, electrical shock and even burns and a household fire.
3. Watch what they eat! Candy and chocolate are never good for dogs or cats and on Halloween there is an increased chance that Fluffy and Fido may consume treats meant for tricksters. Chocolate and Xylitol, a sweetener found in many candies, can be extremely toxic to pets. Lollipops Sticks can be choking hazards and cause a painful obstruction to your pet. Candy wrapping can also lead to chocking or cause an obstruction and upset stomach.
Solutions to prevent your pet from ingesting these harmful items:
5. Lost Pets. Halloween is not the best time to allow your pet to wander. Take precaution and keep all pets indoors under supervision and if needed to escort them outside, make sure they are on a leash. Sudden noises and strange-looking costumes can also spook your pet, causing them to run away, so taking precaution is the best move during the Halloween festivities. Make sure your pet has their tags with all information required in case of emergency.
6. Know who to call. Don’t wait to have your pet treated in the case of an emergency. Locate a 24-hour veterinary clinic if your family veterinarian is not available.
If you suspect your pet has consumed a toxic substance during Halloween and you can’t see your veterinarian, contact the Pet Poison Helpline, a 24-hour service* that assists pet owners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians who are treating potentially poisoned pets.