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Happy Halloween

Let the Halloween hijinks commence! Ghouls and ghosts will soon be stopping by to trick-or-treat. With all the distractions and fun that goes with Halloween, pet parents need to remember that their pets may not enjoy the day as much as we do.

If you’re hosting a Halloween party or just welcoming trick or treaters, keep your pet in a separate room, away from all the hustle and bustle. Too many strangers in odd costumes or the constant ringing of the doorbell may cause your pet stress. You may want to consider placing a sign over the doorbell encouraging your quests to knock only. This will also prevent your pet from sneaking out through an open door and darting out into the night. Only the best trained and most social pets should be out and about, and they should have the most up to date information on their tags in case they run out and get loose. It’s always a good idea to keep pets (black cats in particular) inside during the Halloween season.

Pet parents love to get their pets in the Halloween spirit and there’s no better way than getting them a costume. Because of course, they all look so adorable! Unfortunately, pets may not feel that way, and it can be stressful for them to be in a costume, no matter how cute they look. Unless pet parents know for sure that their pet doesn’t mind the costume, it is recommend for them to not wear one at all. A festive bandana would do the trick if pet parents still want them to look Halloween ready. If a pet is ok with their costume, make sure it doesn’t limit the way that they move, obscure their view, or limit their ability to breathe, bark or meow. The costume should also be checked for loose threads and easily chewed off pieces that can become a choking hazard.

The goodie bowl needs to be stashed out of paw and nose reach! Humans have a hard enough time of eating only one piece of candy, so imagine what it would be like to have a whole bowl readily available with no one watching. Chocolate is very dangerous to pets, dogs especially are attracted to the smell and taste. Methylxanthine, the main chemical in chocolate, is similar to caffeine and can make pets sick in a short amount of time. Other Halloween candies contain the artificial sweetener xylitol and all it would take is a small amount and sudden drops in blood sugar, loss of coordination and seizures can happen. Pets who have possibility eaten chocolate can show symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures.

And don’t forget that when a pet gets into candy, they could have also ingested the wrappers. If that happens, wrappers can cause bowel obstructions, which if severe, can require surgery and can even be life-threatening. Symptoms can include the same as if a pet ate chocolate, but pet parents should also watch for decreased appetite and having problems defecating. People who want to go a healthier route and hand out an alternative to candy such as grapes or raisins need to beware. Even a very small amount of grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in pets.

So while Halloween night is a chance for everyone to enjoy the spirit of the holiday, pet parents need to keep in mind the safety of their pets.  

24/7 Animal Poison Control Center