Halloween is just around the corner, and with it’s fun festivities comes several risks to our fur baby pets. It is important to preempt any hazards or stress that Halloween may mean to our pets, and ensure whilst celebrating we can reduce their exposure of any risks, so Halloween can be enjoyed safely.
Keep electrical displays and cables out of pets reach
Keep electrical displays out of reach of pets, a new moving object or display can be very intriguing to pets who are curious to its movements, inadvertent playing and chewing of plastic may lead to gastrointestinal obstruction, chewed batteries can cause caustic burns if swallowed as well as obstruction. If pets chew electrical cables they are at risk of electrocution, so ensure cables are safely concealed. Hanging displays or bunting are all too enticing to dogs and cats, and if chewed can cause linear foreign bodies and gastrointestinal obstructions.
Don’t dress pet in costume unless you know they will love it
Whilst some pets don’t mind being dressed up, others hate it and become very stressed. Unless you know your pet loves being dressed up, avoid a full costume for them during Halloween. If choosing an outfit for your pet, make sure your pet is not uncomfortable, the outfit must not restrict movement, breathing, hearing, or eyesight, and always supervise your pet when they are wearing it. Make sure you introduce them to wearing their outfit slowly, so not to stress them out. Safer options for festive outfits could be a festive patterned collar, lead or bandana.
Keep Candles out of reach
Candles, lanterns, and lit pumpkins all should be out of reach for our pets to reduce risks of thermal burns.
Trick or treat candies are not for pets
Candy and sweets are not meant for our pets to eat. Chocolate is poisonous to cats and dogs, it can cause seizures, tremoring, irregular heart rhythms, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The most toxic chocolate is dark chocolate, then milk chocolate and white chocolate. If chocolate has been consumed contact your veterinarian immediately, they will be able to calculate a toxic dose based on your pets weight and what chocolate has been consumed and advise what emergency intervention may need to be implemented.
Other candys can include the sweetener xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death. Contact your vet immediately if consumption of products containing xylitol are expected.
Trick or treaters are scary
The constant door bell ringing, new voices, loud noises, scary outfits, masks, screaming, music, and new people can be very scary for us, and even more so to our pets. To reduce stress, fear, and unexpected fear aggression keep your pet indoors and away from the
front door. Keep them in a quiet room, in their crate or bed, with dim lighting or in a dark room. Comfort your pet if they are fearful, occupy them with their toys or puzzle feeders. Dog appeasing pheromone sprays and plug in diffusers are also good to reduce fear in the household. Keeping them away from the front door opening ensures they don’t escape in fear.
Make sure your pet is microchipped, and has an identification tag on their collar so in the event they do go missing, it increases the chances of them being returned to you safely.
Don’t let your pet get to Glowsticks
Whilst the liquid inside glow sticks are not poisonous, they are not tasty, if your pet accidentally chews one they may experience nausea, drooling or vomiting. Rinse their mouth with water and offer them a small meal to take the bad taste away.
Keep carved pumpkins out of reach
Cooked pumpkin can be offered safely to dogs, however the pumpkins we use as lanterns are often sat outside for days to weeks which causes mold to grow, whilst we know not to consume these rotting pumpkins, they are all to appealing to out furry friends. If consumed, moldy food can cause tremoring, seizures, hyperthermia, and gastrointestinal upsets due to the mycotoxins present in the mold. Contact your veterinarian immediately is any clinical signs are shown or you suspect moldy food has been consumed.