Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Halloween Hazards: Vet approved tips to keep pets safe on the spookiest night of the year

Ask a Vet: Top 5 Halloween dangers to your pets PLUS 3 vet-approved tips to keep your pets safe

Ask a Vet: Top 5 Halloween dangers to your pets PLUS 3vet-approved tips to keep them safe

The fall breeze that's giving you goosebumps is ushering in the spookiest holiday of the year- Halloween! It can be an exciting time for the family, but not so much for your pets. The constant visitors at the door, people in costume, and scary sounds can cause stress and anxiety. How we celebrate Halloween can bring about potential hazards to your pet- some of them can be life-threatening. Dr. Carlie Paquette, veterinarian and co-owner of Pembroke Animal Hospital put down her stethoscope and put on her scariest costume to give Paw For Reaction all the ghostly details about potential dangers to your pets on Halloween. Check out what she had to say!


Halloween Hazards: Vet approved tips to keep pets safe on the spookiest night of the year


Dr. Paquette's Top 5 Halloween Hazards to your Pets 


1. Costumes: Costumes can contain or become foreign body hazards for pets. Elastic, stringy fabric, shredded fabric, shiny materials, and things like that can be exciting for cats and dogs to chew on. They can ingest these items, and that is where the danger lurks. Foreign bodies can cause intestinal blockages, lead to expensive surgeries, and can be fatal. 


2. Candy: Some candy can contain xylitol which is an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs. This can cause acute liver disease and/or failure and severe hypoglycemia. Candy wrappers can cause gastrointestinal upset and most candy will be difficult for your pet to digest.


3. Chocolate: Even small amounts of chocolate can be fatal for dogs. The darker the chocolate the higher the risk. If your dog ingests chocolate or any other toxin, call your veterinary clinic immediately.  


4. Noises and stress: Constant knocking or doorbell ringing can create added stress on dogs and cats, which is worrisome for pets already prone to anxiety. Also worrisome to dogs that are senile, or dogs that have disorders worsened by stress, for example, Addison’s disease. Anxiety and stress are easier to manage by preparing in advance, so talk to your vet about precautions you can take or ways to prevent anxiety. 


5. Halloween pumpkins and decor: If ingested, corn cobs and corn husks can cause foreign bodies in dogs. Moldy pumpkins can cause gastrointestinal upset as well. Curious pets may be attracted to the flame in a jack-o-lantern and burn themselves.
 

Halloween Hazards: Vet approved tips to keep pets safe on the spookiest night of the year


How you can keep your pets safe from Halloween Hazards 


1. Prevent access to Halloween candy: Put it up high, in a cupboard, or out of reach. Talk to your kids about the risks of your pet getting into candy so that the entire family follows the safety precautions.  


2. Pre-treat dogs with anxiety disorders: Speak to your vet if you have concerns about this. Keep them confined or away from the door on Halloween. They might be prone to run, especially with the opening and closing of the door. Make sure your pet identification tags are up to date. 


3. Get in the spirit safely: Keep pets away from Halloween decor that may be enticing to them. Put decorations up high or away from areas where your pet spends a lot of time. Don't select costumes that could lead to foreign body risks, and make sure your pet's costume isn't ill-fitting, restricting, or uncomfortable. 


Halloween Hazards: Vet approved tips to keep pets safe on the spookiest night of the year


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