Halloween is one of the best times of year! We get to celebrate the change of seasons with pumpkins, costumes, scary stories and, of course, lots of candy! While our pets are joining in the fun of Halloween, it’s our job as pet parents to make sure their holiday is a safe one. Here are a few tips to keep your pet happy and healthy during this time of year:
- The most obvious one is to keep the candy out of reach of your pets. Most of us know that chocolate is dangerous to dogs (as well as cats!) but we may not think about anything that’s sweetened with xylitol. This sweetener is especially harmful for dogs as it can cause a sudden release of insulin, causing a rapid decrease in a dog’s blood glucose. Signs of xylitol poisoning can be seen as early as 15-30 minutes after ingesting the substance. Symptoms may included sudden lethargy, vomiting, loss of coordination and even seizures. It’s always a good idea to keep the number for the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center handy in case you ever suspect your pet has ingested something toxic: 888-426-4435
- Decorations should be kept out of reach of pets, too. Most dogs will eat anything, so a little nibble of those fake cobwebs won’t be a big deal to them. Things like these can cause choking and intestinal blockages. Lit jack-o-lanterns should be kept well away, too. The last thing you want to deal with on Halloween night is a singed paw from a curious little kitten who wanted to catch that moving light.
- If using glow sticks on your trick-or-treat trips, make sure these are also kept out of reach of your pet. If you suspect your pet has chomped a glow stick and ingested the liquid inside, take them into a closet or somewhere dark and see if the area around or inside their mouth is glowing. While most of these glow sticks are non-toxic, many pets will have a bad reaction to the bitter taste and will be desperate to get rid of it. Try offering them water or a treat to wash away the taste.
- Pets in costumes are adorable! But make sure they aren’t too tight as to be uncomfortable to your little buddy, or to restrict his movement or ability to breath normally.
- Watch the door! With the multiple openings of the door for trick-or-treaters, your pet may try to escape. Even if this isn’t typical behavior for them, remember that a lot of people are showing up ringing the doorbell and this can cause an otherwise laid back pet to become excited.
From the La Pawtite family to yours, have a happy and safe Halloween!