Tips for Halloween Pet Safety
When Halloween comes, adults and kids alike enjoy the chance to dress up and eat more candy than usual. But these activities can have scary consequences for pets.
The American Animal Hospital Association recommends being mindful of pets’ F.E.A.R.: food, environment, attire, and recovery to keep pets safe and happy.
Many people know that chocolate is toxic for pets. Actually, pets shouldn’t have any candy. Candy can cause such problems as vomiting, restlessness, and heart issues. Raisins and grapes—snacks that are considered healthy for people—can cause kidney damage and failure in pets. So make sure the treats you hand out to your pets are veterinarian-approved or, even better, give your pets love and attention instead of extra snacks.
There will likely be increased doorbell ringing and people in the neighborhood. So, in the interest of keeping your pet calm and safe from inhumane pranks and people, it is best to keep your outside pets inside. If you are expecting trick-or-treaters, consider putting your inside pet in a room away from the front door. Just in case of an escape, make sure your pet has a proper collar, tag, and microchip to ensure a quick return to you.
You should also be cautious about decorations and paraphernalia in the pet’s environment. Keep jack-o-lanterns, especially ones with candles, out of reach. Glow-in-the-dark items like glow sticks can be toxic if ingested, so contact your veterinarian immediately if that happens.
While pet costumes are cute and a fun way to involve the whole family in Halloween, if you are going to dress up your pet, be sure that the costume doesn’t interfere with your pet’s vision, breathing, or movement. Also, watch your pet and make sure that he or she enjoys the costume. Some pets get very nervous when dressed up. Is it really any fun if your furry friend isn’t happy too?
If your pet is acting unusual, gets injured, sick, or lost during Halloween, make sure that you do not put off taking action. In the Champaign-Urbana area, the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital has emergency service for all animals, any time, day or night. Call us at 217-333-5300.
Please contact your local veterinarian if you have any other questions.
By Hannah Beers