Halloween is an exciting time to dress up and fill up on plenty of sweets! A lot of what we look forward to can be harmful to our pets. Just like with children safety measure need to be taken so that everyone can have a good time.
Dogs natural instinct is to protect their owners. The doorbell signals to them that an intruder is there. With trick-or-treaters your doorbell all of a sudden becomes a hot spot. A tip to remove the trigger is to cover up the doorbell. We also recommend getting your pet in some good exercise before the tricker treaters come out. This could be as simple as a long walk or a long game of fetch. Then let them rest in a room with the door closed and the TV or radio turned up to drown out the sound of unknown visitors. With all the commotion outside it is best to keep your pets inside. If you must keep them outside make sure that the yard is secure, they are microchipped, and that their collar is on with current contact information.
Then we get to the reason trick or treaters come to your home, the sweets! If you will be handing out candy make sure that it is kept out of reach of your pets. Chocolate and certain sweeteners used in candy have been proven to be very harmful to pets.
Decorations are the perfect touch to dress up any home for Halloween. They can also be one of the biggest pet hazards! If a pet eats a pumpkin they can cause severe stomach pain and diarrhea. If you have a carved pumpkin with a lit candle pets can also knock them over and cause a fire. Many decorations often call for extension cords. Be cautious of where you place any extension cords. Some pets get curious and can easily electrocute themselves by chewing on the unfamiliar exposed cords. Cats are also drawn to chewing on glow sticks and glow jewelry. The chemical in these is extremely toxic and can cause excessive drooling, oral pain, and vomiting.
Our favorite part of Halloween is seeking all the pet costumes! If you do decide to dress your pet this Halloween season be careful that there are no parts that can be easily removed and choked on. Costumes should not restrict breathing or barking. They also should not obstruct vision or movement. Keep in mind we are hosting a Halloween Costume Contest this week! You can enter by emailing us a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, post a photo to our Facebook page ,or (our favorite) bring your pet by the clinic so we can see!!
If you come across any of these Halloween hazards give us a call at 915-584-4491! If it is an after-hours emergency and we do not respond within 15 minutes please contact El Paso Animal Emergency Center at 915-545-1148. ASPCA Poison Center is another great resource at 888-426-4435.
By Monique Conway, Director of Public Contact 10/29/2014