Around the holidays, I like to make sure that our pet parents are very informed of the dangers that different holidays pose to their fur babies. Halloween, while enjoyable to humans, can be a nightmare for dogs and cats and even lead to expensive trips to the vet or animal ER if precautions aren’t taken. I believe prevention and knowledge are the best ways to avoid Halloween turning into a scary situation for everyone involved. Below are some of the top dangers for pet parents to be aware of during the Halloween season and some tips to help avoid these potential disasters.
Cat & Dog Halloween Costumes – Make sure your pet is comfortable in whatever costume you pick for them to wear. Do not force a stressed pet into wearing something they clearly hate. Also, do not leave your pet in their costume unattended as they may try to eat it, which can cause intestinal distress and even blockage. Additionally, loose costumes can become entangled and trip your pet and/or get stuck in doors or around objects and cause your fur baby to trip and hurt themselves. Lastly, avoid masks and other accessories to costumes that might impair vision or hinder breathing with your dog or cat.
Halloween Treats – We should all know by now that chocolate is bad and a real hazard for pets, but there are other dangers as well. Xylitol, a natural sugar alternative, is actually even more hazardous for pets and may be found in sugar-free hard candies, gum, peanut butter, and chocolates. Even just a small piece of gum with this ingredient could kill a small dog. Raisins are also a danger and can lead to kidney failure in dogs and cats. It’s not just the candy and treats themselves that pose the risks, the bags and wrappers, if ingested, can also cause issues by stopping up your fur baby and can be so serious that they would need to have surgery. Large bags of candy (like the kind you get at Costco) can also cause suffocation if your pet gets his or her head stuck in one thinking there is still candy in the bag.
Halloween Decor & Other Dangers – Cats and dogs are both curious by nature and love to explore new things. Fake spider webs, plastic pumpkins, corn, and other decor might be irresistible for your fur babies. Dogs especially like to explore new things by putting them in their mouths and chewing on them. This may lead to an intestinal obstruction in your dog or cat and may result in costly and invasive surgery. Besides decor, it’s also important to prevent your dog or cat from door dashing. Many pets go missing on Halloween from escaping out the front door when it’s being opened frequently to greet trick or treaters. Also, the increased noise and exposure to lots of people at the front door can be stressful for more timid and less friendly animals. Make sure you have a plan for where you can put your fur babies on Halloween night so they feel safe and secure.