5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips in Wichita, Kansas

Time for Halloween tricks and treats again! Halloween has become an enjoyable holiday for children, adults, and yes, even pets. If you’re including your pet in the fun this year, consider their safety, as this time of year can actually dangerous for your dog or cat if you’re not prepared. Consider the following five pet safety tips from Bogue Animal Hospital in Wichita, KS so your feline and canine companions can have a safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween Pet Safety Tips in Wichita, KS

1. Choose Your Pet Costume Wisely

With the increasing popularity of Halloween, there are now hundreds of costume options for pets, but not all costumes are safe, so choose yours wisely. Thoroughly inspect every pet costume before you buy it to make sure there aren’t any loose or dangling pieces that can be easily chewed off or cause a tangle hazard. Also feel around for parts that could poke or scratch your dog or cat. Once you decide on a costume, try it on your pet for size to make sure it’s not too tight or too big. If time allows, have your pet practice wearing the costume a couple days before Halloween so they’ll have time to adjust to it before the big day.

2. Don’t Give Your Pet Candy

Many sweet foods, especially chocolate, can cause pets to become sick. Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine that’s poisonous to pets, and the darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity level. Some of the symptoms of chocolate toxicosis include diarrhea, vomiting, accelerated heart rate, and even seizures. The sugar substitute xylitol, which is common in candy and gum, is also toxic and can result in hypoglycemia if ingested. You may think that feeding your pet just a small amount of candy will be safe, but different pets react to these foods in different ways, so it’s best to just keep all the Halloween sweets away from your four-legged friend.

3. Make Sure Your Pet Has ID

Although this is important for all holidays, Halloween is the time of year when there tends to be an increase in lost pets, and sadly, many lost pets are never returned home, due to lack of identification. Make sure your pet’s ID tag is securely attached to their collar and that it’s up-to-date. You may also want to consider a microchip, which is a permanent device (about the size of a grain of rice) that can be encoded with your contact information and scanned by most animal shelters in Wichita, KS and all over the country.

4. Keep Your Pet Away From the Front Door

Although this Halloween pet safety tip typically applies to dogs, it can apply to cats, too, if your feline friend is the social type. Every time your front door opens for those costumed trick-or-treaters is an opportunity for your pet to escape if you don’t keep an eye on them. For your pet’s safety and for that of your visitors, keep your dog or cat away from the front door in a confined area during trick-or-treat hours.

5. Limit Your Pet’s Time Outdoors

With all the people who will be walking around outside at night on Halloween, this holiday can be a dangerous time for outdoor pets. Limit your pet’s time outdoors during this time of year and keep a close eye on them until it’s time for them to come inside. If you normally keep your pet outside, we recommend that you keep them inside until a couple days after Halloween for their safety.

If you have questions about these Halloween pet safety tips, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat, feel free to contact us at (316) 722-1085.

 

The Importance of Preventative Care for Pets

The Bogue Animal Hospital veterinary team emphasizes the importance of preventative care for all of our patients. Keeping your pet protected from pests and diseases is essential if your pet is to live a long, healthy life. We can help you determine an appropriate preventative care regimen based on your pet’s lifestyle, health status, and particular needs. We recommend that all pets be protected year round from pests such as fleas, ticks, and heartworm. We also administer vaccinations based on these criteria to protect them from disease.

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Preventative Health Care

Our pets age significantly faster than we do, so regular physical exams are even more important for them than they are for us. An annual check-up for a pet is equivalent to a checkup every three or four years for a human.  When we examine your pet regularly, we are able to identify potential health conditions early so that they can be treated in a timely manner. Regular examinations can also allow us the opportunity to establish your pet’s baseline health, which will make it easier for us to catch any deviations from the norm in future checkups. During your pet’s preventive checkup, we will examine them from nose to tail and everything in between including:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood test (generally in older pets)
  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • Fecal test
  • Heartrate
  • Neurological system
  • Nose
  • Oral cavity
  • Organ function
  • Skeletal system and joints
  • Urinalysis (generally in older pets)
  • …and so much more

If you have questions about your pet’s health care needs, we invite you to visit our pet wellness page or contact our team for assistance.

Top Ten Holiday Pet Picks

With Santa’s reindeer gearing up for a sleighful of deliveries to pets and their people, pet owners are hitting the stores to do their own shopping for their furry friends. From stainless steel water fountains to Angry Birds toys, pet gifts this season will have pets (and humans) drooling and howling for more.
Here are some staff favorites from the team at AAHA that are sure to get tails wagging and paws pouncing this holiday season.

For the safety-conscious pet

10. Car seat harness:
There is no better gift than taking your pet with you when you travel – provided that your pet can travel securely! Buying a car seat harness will ensure that your pet receives the same level of safety that you do when you travel.
 

9. Travel carrier:
 
Take your pet to grandmother’s house in comfort and security this holiday season. Travel carriers help to contain your pet while riding in the car, making it a safer and more comfortable drive for both you and your pet.
 

For the sophisticated pet

8. Stainless steel water fountains:
Upgrading to a stainless steel water fountain this year may be a popular choice for pet lovers who want to add some class to their pets’ drinking style.
 
“I think crowds will love it this season since stainless steel is so fashionable in many kitchens and it is easy to clean,” one staff member says.


Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain


 
7. Baked doggie goods from local doggie bakeries:
 
Fancy doggie goodies from specialized bakeries can whet your pet’s palate in a way that everyday treats can’t quite do.

“Christmas and his birthday are the only times my dog gets to indulge with these!” says one AAHA staff member.

6. Homemade dog treats:
 
If purchasing special goodies from bakeries isn’t your thing, make your own doggie treats.

“You can always make dog biscuits with cookie cut-outs,” one staff member says. “I recently made a disgusting liver bar recipe. I liquefied chicken livers in a food processor, added corn meal and flour, and then baked them. After, I cut them up into bars. It was gross to make and smell while they were baking but my dogs LOVED them.”
Other recipes include mixing baby food, corn meal and dry milk. Peanut butter is always a good add-in, staff says.

For the fun-loving pet

5. Hartz Angry Birds dog toys:
Angry Birds = happy dogs. Based on the popular mobile game app that pits birds against greedy green pigs, the double-sided Angry Birds flyer will have your dog chasing it down just so that he can get his teeth on this toy’s ballistic nylon.

4. Hartz Angry Birds cat toys: Don’t forget that cats love Angry Birds, too! The Angry Birds Running Bird toy stimulates your cat’s predatory instinct by shaking and vibrating its catnip innards, driving cats crazy and tempting their paws to pounce.  
Angry Bird Cat Toy  

For the behavior-challenged dog:

3. Through a Dog’s Ear (CD series):
This series uses music to help calm anxious dogs in stressful settings like shelters and hospitals. Instrumentation on each album is carefully chosen to relax dogs by gradually slowing their heart rates. Many of the albums have been tested for effectiveness on dogs in shelters, clinics and homes.

 
Through a Dog’s Ear

2. Thundershirt:
 
The holidays can be a stressful time for anxiety or stress-prone dogs. A Thundershirt can help reduce anxiety by creating a snug, comfortable fit that comforts dogs when in stressful situations.

“Everyone is talking about how these can help dogs that exhibit behavioral issues when stressed,” one staff member says. “They’re most often applied to calm thunderstorm fears but I hear of people using them in situations they know their dog finds stressful.”
For a stressed pooch, a Thundershirt may be the perfect gift that can keep on giving all year round.

 

For the pet who has everything else

 

1. Time:
For the owner on a budget or for the pet who has everything, the gift of time is the top gift for any pet this year.

“According to my cats, the best present I can give them is my time,” a staff member says. “They would like nothing better than for me to spend hours petting them and brushing them and scratching them and just loving them.”