Halloween Safety Tips

Layla, Logan, Vegas, and Maggie are ready for HalloweenHalloween is always a fun time for kids and many adults but it is important to remember it may not be quite as fun for our pets. Here are a few safety tips to think about while you are getting ready for this occasion.

One of the fun parts about Halloween is carving out the Jack-O-Lantern, but make sure if you have a candle in it that you are supervising nearby pets. Curious noses and wagging tails can knock it over and cause serious burns or damages. A good alternative is to use flashlights or LED lights instead or put it in an area that your pet does not have access to.

Dressing your pets up can be fun if your pets don’t mind wearing costumes but make sure it’s safe for them first. Be sure there are no loose or tiny pieces that can be torn off and eaten. Do not leave the costume on your pet without supervision – some pets might try and make a meal out of it. When your pet is wearing the costume, check to see that if it has any elastic bands, that it does not constrict too tightly and cut off any circulation or breathing. Your pet should be able to move around comfortably in it and it should not restrict their vision or hearing. If your pets are going to be accompanying you and your family “Trick or Treating”, you can place some reflective tape or LED lights on them so they are more visible to traffic and to you if you lose sight of them for any reason.

If you are planning on staying in, your pets should have a place of their own on Halloween night. With the constant opening and closing of the door, the new people coming and going, especially dressed in strange or scary costumes, your pets may become nervous or stressed. Place them in a quiet room with some of their favourite toys or treats to keep them happy. Another reason to keep your pets away from all of the excitement is because of the door opening and closing – your pet could slip out of the door with all of the distractions. If you are worried about your pet being lost, make sure they are microchipped. This is another measure of identification if your pet’s collar/tags are lost or are not legible.

Last but not least – the treats! The only treats that Fido should be getting on Halloween are his or her own treats. Candy, chocolate, gum, as well as the wrappers covering the candy, can make your pets very ill. Gum contains a chemical called Xylitol (which is a sugar substitute) and can make your pet become hypoglycemic (a sudden drop in blood sugar) and can also cause liver damage. The wrappers can cause intestinal damages and can lead to an intestinal obstruction which could possibly require emergency surgery. Chocolate, when eaten in sufficient quantities and depending on the type of chocolate, can be very toxic to our pets.  Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures and even death. If you think your pet may have eaten chocolate, please consult your veterinarian.

The staff at Companion Veterinary Clinic wishes you a spooky and safe Halloween with your pets!

 

– Lindsey Olstad, RAHT

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