Thinking about what costume you don this Halloween? Perhaps a member of the Dancing With The Stars show or maybe just keep it simple and go with the hottest Hollywood couple ? Halloween is always fun for the little goblins and witches in your house, but it can be a dangerous time of year for our furry friends. While some things may seem like common sense, others are things we might not even think about!
Here are some tips to keeping your furry family members safe!
1. No treats! Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous to dogs and cats. Symptoms of ingesting significant amounts of chocolate may include: vomiting, hyperactivity, drinking excessive amounts of water, increased or frequent urination, and heart rate. Your pet may also have seizures.
Candies that contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. This sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. Significant low blood sugar can also cause liver failure.
Watch those wrappers! Ingesting the foil or cellophane wrappers can be a choking hazard or intestinal blockage.
2. Pumpkins and decorative corn can cause gastrointestinal upset and can even cause intestinal blockage. Also watch carved pumpkins with lit candles inside! Pets can easily knock over pumpkins and cause a fire. Curious cats are especially at risk or getting burned by lit candles. My curious calico actually burnt her whiskers when she got too curious about a lit candle. Needless to say she now steers clear and we have taken to using reed diffusers instead of candles.
3. Keep all wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach from your pets. If your pet chews the cords, they could have damage in the mouth or electrical shock.
4. Everyone loves to dress up for Halloween and it can be fun to get your pet a costume too. Please don’t put your pet in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. My poodle loves to wear clothes, but some pets find it extremely stressful. Be mindful of how your pet is feeling.
If you do dress your pet in a costume, make sure it isn’t constricting their movements, hearing or ability to breathe, bark or meow. I would also recommend trying on costumes prior to the big night, that way if your pet is stressed, uncomfortable or allergic you know before the big night.
Also check the costume for buttons, dangling accessories/accents or pieces that could be chewed off easily. These all pose not only choking hazards but could also cause intestinal blockages.
5. Not all dogs and cats are social and excessive knocks on the door, or doorbell can be stressful. It is recommended that you put your pet in another room, away from trick or treating during peak hours. The first year we had our toy poodle I thought it would be good to let her run around the house and see the kids when they came to the door. I mean, she LOVES kids. Unfortunately every time she heard the doorbell she went into a barking/attack mode. To this day every time she hears a doorbell, even if it’s on the television, she goes berserk! It was a big mistake to let her be around this commotion before she was ready.
Also be careful of opening the door- this is a prime opportunity for your pet to dart off or scare small children who are unaware you have a pet.
6. As always, make sure your pet has identification and is micro-chipped. If your pet should escape or become lost this will increase the chances that you will be able to find them.
7. Consider keeping your pet indoors. Halloween is a prime time for pranksters who might taunt, injure or even take your pet.
Halloween can be a fun time for the entire family, just be extra mindful of your furry family members and what tricks or treats they are enjoying!
Written by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs