Hallowe’en is such a fun time for families. But often the four-legged members of the family find it very stressful. Here are a few tips and cautions to help you avoid Hallowe’en hazards for your pet:
Fireworks and Firecrackers – can make your neighbourhood sound like a war zone. Calm pets can turn into freaky crazies when the cacophony begins. Make sure you keep your dog or cat inside on Hallowe’en night and bring them in early if they’re outside during the day. Do this for several nights leading up to Hallowe’en as the celebrations often start early. Keep them in a calm area of the house where they’re comfortable or even turn on the radio for them. Sad stories abound about pets who have bolted out the door in fear of the sights and sounds of Hallowe’en. Black cats especially should be kept inside. Don’t give anybody an excuse to heap abuse on vulnerable pets.
Candy and Chocolate – It’s commonly known that chocolate can be toxic to pets, but there are other treats which can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Raisins and nuts, such as macadamias, can be toxic as can candy containing the common sweetener xylitol. Wrappers can also be a hazard. Dogs especially will often eat them and this can cause a blockage in the gut which may require a surgical solution. Pet poison control services report a sharp spike in calls during Hallowe’en.
Costumes –Whether you dress up your pets, or whether it’s just your kids in costume, be aware of any harmful elements, like metallic beads or snaps that could cause serious poisoning if ingested. Resist the temptation to use dyes or colouring on your pets. Even if they are labelled safe for humans that doesn’t mean it is also safe for your pets.
Glow Sticks – In recent years glow sticks/jewellery have become popular items for Hallowe’en. They are fun and help increase visibility on the darkest Hallowe’en night but they seem almost irresistible to cats who want to chew them. Once punctured, while not usually life threatening, the contents can cause pain and irritation, as well as drooling and foaming at the mouth.
Candles – There are often lots of candles around at Hallowe’en to set the spooky mood. Make sure they are placed well out of the range of wagging tails and whiskers or use flameless electric candles instead.
A few seeds of common sense and planning ahead are all that you need to see your pet through Hallowe’en safely and with as little stress as possible. Enjoy the fun, but play it safe where your pets are concerned.
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