As the leaves start to fall, thoughts turn to the upcoming holiday season, which some people might say kicks off with Halloween. But with a bit of common sense and planning, Halloween doesn’t have to be the scariest night for our four-legged friends.
- Keep ALL treats away from your pets. Sugary items like candy corn may just cause stomach upset but all forms of chocolate -- especially baking or dark chocolate -- can be extremely dangerous or fatal to dogs and cats. And remember that sugar-free items that contact Xylitol are also toxic to dogs. Make sure the candy you are handing out and the treats you bring home are kept well away from your pets. For more information about chocolate toxicity, including the signs and symptom of chocolate poisoning, click here.
- Don’t forget that candy wrappers and packaging can be tempting and dangerous, too. Residual chocolate might be enough to cause illness and sometimes bits of the wrappers themselves could be ingested. So make sure all wrappers and boxes are properly disposed of and out of harm’s way.
- Keep your pets INDOORS on the days leading up to and right after Halloween. This is true for all animals, but unfortunately it’s extremely important to remember for black dogs and especially cats. We’d like to think that we’re all above superstitious mischief but better safe than sorry. And remember to keep your pets confined when you’re handing out treats. You don’t want them to slip out the door when you’re preoccupied with giving candy to neighborhood ghouls and goblins.
- Keep fall decorations such pumpkins, corn stalks and other dried plants out of the reach of your pet. While these might not be toxic, they can cause stomach upset and nausea if ingested.
- Know your pet. Costumes might be fine for some dogs (and maybe even some cats) but many will be less receptive. Even if your dog loves to dress up make sure the costume doesn’t block his vision, make it hard for her to hear, or pose a trip hazard. And make sure you have a good handle on a sturdy leash. You don’t want your dog running off in a costume that might make him hard to see or make it difficult for him to move comfortably.
- Keep lighted decorations, cords and candles secured. NEVER leave candles unsupervised.