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Halloween is fun for adults and children, but the treats, candy, decorations and costumes can pose a safety risk to pets. To keep pets safe during this fun holiday, there are some things to keep in mind.
Treats and candy should be kept out of reach of pets. Chocolate candy and chocolate used for baking are toxic to them and can cause stomach upset, hyperactivity, seizures and even death. Raisins can cause kidney failure. Sugar-free gum and candy often contain Xylitol which is highly toxic to dogs. Xylitol poisoning can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels and liver failure.
Many pets may tolerate a costume, but make sure they are safe. Avoid things like rubber bands, string, and do not use a costume that may obstruct an animal’s vision, hearing or breathing. Never leave pets unsupervised while they are wearing a costume.
Decorations such as candles, balloons and fake spider webs can create a hazard for pets and wildlife. Ingestion of ribbons and other decorations can lead to intestinal obstruction. The substance in glow sticks, while usually non-toxic, is very bitter and can cause stomach upset and oral irritation. Battery operated candles should be used to eliminate a fire hazard.
People dressed in costumes and the constant visitors at your front door can be very scary for animals. Keeping pets in a quiet bedroom can help them stay calm and prevent them from escaping outdoors.
Pets should stay indoors. Dogs that do go for walks should be kept on a leash and a reflective collar should be used with proper identification. With all the extra traffic, noise and people, dogs and cats are at higher risk of being hit by a car or harmed.
Contact your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency hospital right away if you suspect your pet ingested something toxic. Plan ahead to keep your pet safe so everyone can have a happy Halloween.