Veterinarian Tips: Hidden Hazards of Halloween
Fortunately, most pet owners know about the dangers of chocolate, but a comprehensive approach to Halloween pet safety goes beyond the candy bowl. Sure, there are plenty of obvious hazards out there, but there are also more subtle risks to remember.
What’s in the Treat Bag?
Goodies from a Halloween party or trick-or-treating should be given a thorough inspection. You’ll likely see a vast amount of chocolate (a huge no-no for your pet due to the theobromine and caffeine content), and you might have treats that contain Xylitol. An artificial sweetener, Xylitol is highly toxic to animals. It’s critical to seek emergency care to prevent low blood sugar or even liver failure. Similarly, treats with raisins should be stored or tossed.
Speaking of treats, your pet may find wrapping or packaging tempting to play with or sniff. Accidentally ingesting foil or plastic can lead to choking, internal injuries, and gastrointestinal obstruction.
Along the same lines, candy and caramel apples are delicious, but if your pet inadvertently swallows a stick (or a portion of one), he or she could be in a world of pain.
Shadows in the Night
Pets with dark fur (especially black cats) can become the targets of Halloween pranksters. We recommend keeping your pet inside on the nights preceding Halloween and, of course, on the big night itself.
Provide reflective tape for your pet’s collar or costume when going out Halloween night, and make sure your pet’s ID tags are visible. Any changes to your address or name? Be sure to update your pet’s microchip information as soon as possible.
Fall Decor and Halloween Pet Safety
Fall decorating is fun and festive, but many components can threaten your pet’s health. For example, string lights and other electric decor can entangle or shock your pet. Wreaths or garlands with plastic berries and decorative corn stalks can cause problems if ingested.
Candle lit pumpkins can also be both enticing and dangerous to curious pets. If you can’t part with your jack-o’-lantern, it’s best to leave it on your front porch where it can’t singe your pet’s eyes, nose, or whiskers (or start an indoor fire!).
Lastly, be aware of any decorations that contain batteries, rubber bands, twist ties, and other small items.
Safe and Sound at Home
This year, your pet may be game for dressing up in a pet costume or he or she may enjoy a quiet night in a secure room away from all the commotion. Whatever you choose to do, make sure Halloween pet safety measures are in place. Please let us know how our veterinarians and veterinary team can be of assistance to you and your furry pal.
We wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween!