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!
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.