Halloween can be fun for every member of the family, including the family pets. However, it can also present dangers to your pets, so it would be wise to consider every possible issue that might send one of your pets to a veterinary hospital and turn a fun scare into a real nightmare.
Stranger dangers for your pets on Halloween
Halloween parties and trick-or-treating bring many visitors, both planned and spontaneous, to your door. The festivities of Halloween can have a dual effect on pets, either exciting them or frightening them. Both reactions can lead to your pet bolting through an open door and gate and into the street.
Once outside, the throngs of costumed people may cause a pet to become frightened or disoriented, and may result in the pet wandering far from home or being struck by a car.
Another very real danger, especially for cats, is the possibility of superstitious adults hurting or killing a pet during a bizarre Halloween ritual. Black cats are particularly vulnerable around Halloween, not only for physical harm but also for people who wish to use them as a living prop for a Halloween party.When the party is over, the cat is thrown out the door, possibly far from home.
Although your more gregarious pets may wish to interact with Halloween visitors, you should try to keep them contained if there is a possibility that they can escape from your home during the festivities.
Dangers from Halloween candy and decor
Any type of lit decorations present the danger of electric shock or death from chewed wires, especially from smaller animals. The wires from your holiday decorations will need to be kept secured from problem pets.
Candles in carved pumpkins can cause burn risks from both the flame and the liquid wax. If a pet should knock over a pumpkin and get covered with liquid wax, it will panic and run, possibly causing severe burns. Candles should never be left burning without being watched, especially if pets are present.
Children are often allowed special uninhibited access to candy and other Halloween treats, and they might want to share them with their pets. However, certain treats can be deadly to pets in sufficient quantities, such as:
Chocolate contains both theobromine and caffeine, which can be hazardous or fatal to pets. While dogs are more likely to eat chocolate in larger quantities, cats may be enticed to eat it if presented by a child, and, because cats are usually much smaller than dogs, they don't need to consume as much to get sick.
This is an artificial sweetener found on sugarless gum and candy. It can cause insulin levels to rise enough to cause permanent damage if ingested in sufficient quantities.
Halloween can be a safe and fun time for the whole family, but extra vigilance is needed to keep everybody happy and healthy. For more tips on how to keep your pet safe over the holiday, talk to a veterinarian at Clovis Veterinary Hospital P A.