Halloween Safety Tips
You have to admit that year after year, Halloween never really gets old. Scary movies and haunted walks in the woods make some thrill seekers count down the days until it’s arrival. While some of us appreciate the opportunity to enjoy the season without being totally terrified, and still being provided with chocolate everywhere you go. Jack-o-lanterns pose a threat for curious kittens and electrical cords are dangerous all year long. Unfortunately, our pets don’t have the luxury of preparing with us by keeping their eyes on the calendar, and visiting the stores to see if Target or Hannaford has the better candy prices. Our pets see Halloween as a thing that happens one random day when the sun comes up and all sorts of weird creatures appear. There is candy and things that smell good everywhere, but the doorbell keeps ringing, and “humans” with strange masks are there. Our pets don’t get to brainstorm a list of costume ideas, or shop for their favorite they just get put into an outfit. While some don’t mind, others will look at you like you are the one wearing the three headed dog costume. As pet owners, we have to ensure that we keep our pets safe on Halloween, but we must also remember that it is our responsibility to make a crazy day as stress-less as possible.
We love candy, chocolate, lollipops, bubblegum, sugar covered sugar, what could be better! Chances are your pets think so, too. The problems is if we don’t ignore the sweet little puppy dog eyes, we can very easily run into problems. Most of us know that chocolate is
bad. Chocolate, especially in large amounts leads to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even seizures. Xylitol, which is a sweetener found in sugar free gum, and other artificially sweetened candy is also toxic. Common symptoms are lethargy, vomiting, loss of coordination and again, seizures. In some cases severe blood sugar crash and liver failure can occur. Even lollipops and wrappers can cause obstructions, which leads to a very major surgery. The best way to prevent any of these things is to keep all candy and sweets out of reach. Keep bowls covered and make sure that you know where your furry friends are. Remember that cats can climb (and so can the most ambitious of dog) so keep covers securely on containers, and that you call your veterinarian or local emergency clinic if your sweet (pun intended…) friend gets into any of the Halloween goodies!
Who doesn’t think that a cat dressed up like a sailor or a Dachshund wearing a hot dog isn’t just the cutest thing in the world. According to the National Retail Federation in 2013, $330 million dollars were spent among 22 million pet owners on costumes. Crazy right?! As much fun as it can be, some animals aren’t too wild about being dressed up. Some pets will make it obvious, while others may seem like they are tolerating it, but will tell you they are unhappy with their body language. Tail tucked, ears back, and averted eyes are all their ways of telling you they hate their costume! For the party poopers, festive bandanas may do the trick. For the pets that don’t mind being the center of attention, simply make sure that their costume is comfortable, doesn’t restrict any movement, impede vision, hearing or breathing.
Doors open and close a lot on Halloween, leaving plenty of room for escape artist to make their getaway. Not to mention how scary the ghosts, goblins, and lady bugs at the door are. The best thing to do is keep your pets confined and away from the door, and in a safe quiet place. Just in case though, ID tags and/or microchips are a must!
There is always a chance that like me, your pet loves this time of year, but if your pet fits the majority, plan ahead, and give your pet an extra special snack, just so they don’t feel left out! Happy Halloween!