By Dr. Andrew Jones
Halloween is almost here, the children are excited, but there are some pet safety tips you should be aware of.
Before I show you these, you should see some recent pictures of myself, and family Guinea pig dressed up for the big day!
Emergency clinics see a marked increase in calls during the week of Halloween- don’t let your dog or cat be one of these emergencies. This article will cover the top 7 tips to keeping your pet safe this Halloween.
1.Toxic treats. Treats are everywhere on Halloween, and invariably dogs dig into unsupervised candies and chocolate. Chocolate is a well known toxin, with dark chocolate being most toxic. A poodle weighing 10lbs can be fatally poisoned by as little as one milk chocolate bar containing 250mg of theobromine. Xylitol is a artificial sweeter found in “sugar free” products, such as gum and candy.Signs relate to a sudden drop in glucose (blood sugar), in-coordination, collapse and seizures. Avoid feeding any chocolate, gum or candy to your pets. Keep your emergency veterinarians number handy, or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
2.Loud noises on Halloween, such as screaming children on too much sugar, can really scare your pets. If your dog has any type of anxiety around small children, or reacts to the noise, you should keep him in a separate confined room. Cats are best given their own place away from all the action and noise. You can consider using Bach Rescue Remedy to decrease your dog and cats anxiety.
3.Pet costume safety is becoming more important as more and more dog and cats are being dressed up. Ensure that the costume doesn’t restrict your pets from moving, breathing, hearing or making noise. A good tip is to try the costume on the night before, and see how your dog or cat responds to it- the last thing you want is an emergency veterinary visit due to a costume.
4.Be wary of candles which can quickly start a fire. Candles look great lighting up your pumpkins and your yard, but just ensure that your dog doesn’t get too close, burning his tail. Ensure that the candles are stable, and can’t be knocked over.
5.Opening the door can lead to tragedy. Dogs and cats may want to dart out as soon as trick or treaters enter, which is the last thing you want. This goes back to my point of keeping your pets in a separate room, or separate space away from the door.
6.Halloween often involves lots of electricity, meaning wires and cords. You really want to keep all this electricity out of reach of your pets. Kittens love to chew, as do many dogs, especially during stressful events; if these are chewed, then can cause serious electrical shocks.
7.My last big point involves something you should have already, proper identification for your pets. If your pet happens to escape, or become frightened with noise, proper ID can help get your dog or cat back. You can consider tags on their collar, microchip and or a tattoo.
Halloween is meant to be a time of celebration and fun, so let’s keep it that way for you and your pets. Ensure that your dog or cat stays away from chocolate and candy, and avoids electrical injury from chords. Be prepared for all of the noise, and keep your pets confined in another room if needed. Lastly ensure that your pet has proper ID, in the form of a tag, tattoo or microchip.
Heal Your Pet At Home!
Dr Andrew Jones, DVM
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