Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, especially in Texas. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, and the best holidays are about to begin! First up on the holiday list is… HALLOWEEN! I love seeing all the cute kids in the neighborhood dressed up in their costumes, but even more so, I love seeing how people dress up their pets! For example, my dachshund mix will be a hot dog this year… Stereotypical, I know, but he looks so cute! Although this holiday is fun and exciting, there are some threats to your pets that you should be aware of. Below are some great tips to reduce the risk of harm to your fur babies this holiday.
The first Halloween pet safety tip deals with their outfits! If you are putting your dog or cat in a costume, make sure that it fits properly! I know this sounds strange, but if there is a strap that goes across their chest, it may restrict their breathing if it is too tight. Also, you want to make sure that they aren’t stressed out about having some out of the norm clothing on them. On top of this potential stress, make sure to supervise them just in case they decide to destroy the costume. Your dog or cat could either get tangled and injure themselves or consume parts of the costume.
Do you have a protective or shy pooch? If you’re taking them on a walk while kids are trick-or-treating, make sure to keep a watchful eye on them. Your pet may get spooked from the screaming kids or seeing dogs and humans alike in costumes that they are not used to seeing. One of my dogs that I rescued gets scared very easily. Just the other day, I had a towel in my hair after a shower and she wouldn’t come near me!
Are your dog’s your personal alarm system and doorbell? Mine are! So when the doorbell rings, and there are some strangers in costumes and masks at the door, your dogs could react by running away or acting defensively. So just use caution when opening your door when your pets are near.
3. Or Treat
One of the most obvious threats to your pets on Halloween is all of the chocolate and candy that’s up for the grabbing! There is a pretty decent chance that your dog may get their paws on some chocolate at one point or another. We should all know by now that chocolate (or the cocoa found in chocolate) is poisonous to both dogs and cats, but did you know that candy is also very dangerous? Most candy has a chemical known as Xylitol that is used to sweeten, when it is consumed by dogs and cats it can lower the blood sugar or even cause live failure. Also keep in mind that the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it will be for your pets. This is because it likely has a higher cocoa content than lighter chocolates (milk chocolate, white chocolate)Foils from candy wrappers and lollipop sticks are also dangerous if consumed because they can get stuck in the stomach or GI tract. If you don’t think you’ll be able to keep your pet away from these dangers, then you could potentially keep them in a separate part of your home. Another concern that you wouldn’t think of is raisins! These are one of the most poisonous foods to dogs and can cause kidney failure. If your dog has consumed any raisins, grapes, or currents, it is essential that you get in contact with your vet, the Pet Poison Helpline ( http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/ ), or get them to an emergency hospital.
4. Holiday Decorations
Fake spiders and their webs are exciting new toys for your cats to play with, but these decorations could obstruct the GI tract and seriously harm your pet. Use caution when decorating your house for ANY holiday! I know that my cat loves to play “soccer” with any loose object and it will forever be lost. Also bear in mind that carved pumpkins can cause a couple of hazards:
- Your pet could knock it over and a fire could start if there is a lit candle inside.
- They could decide to EAT the pumpkin and cause some upset stomach. This might shock some because we know that pureed pumpkin is commonly used to ease upset stomach. However, too much of a good thing isn’t great!
Would you like to read more helpful tips and tricks to keep your pets safe during the Halloween season? Check out these good reads:
We hope you have a safe and spooky HOWLoween this year!!