Keeping Your Pet Safe on Halloween
Starting with a little Halloween Humor:
Q: What is worst than raining black cats and bloodhounds? A: Hailing taxi cabs!
Q: Why did the skeleton give a dog a bone? A: Because he had spare ribs.
It’s my favorite time of year again- Halloween! Why is Halloween my absolute favorite holiday? For one night every year, I get to dress up as anybody/anything I have dreamed of being, eat as much junk food as possible, and have an excuse to act like a kid again with all of my friends.
Although this night has always been my favorite night of the year, it is not always my dog, Hazel’s, favorite. With the doorbell ringing constantly, people outdoors screaming, ﬁre crackers going off, the temptation of delicious treats in a bucket by the door and, of coarse, a RIDICULOUS (but adorable) costume has always made her majorly stressed out on Halloween night. It’s for that reason that I am offering you some of my tips on keeping your pet comfortable this Halloween!
1. Candy consumption:
First and foremost, let’s talk about chocolate toxicity. Chocolate is metabolized differently by a dog than it is by people. This is because of the chemical in chocolate called theobromine. Theobromine levels are highest in baking chocolate, followed by semisweet and dark chocolate, followed by milk chocolate. Theobromine causes the following symptoms:
-Racing heart rhythm progressing to abnormal rhythms
-Death in severe cases
Although most Halloween candy is milk chocolate, consumption of even a small amount can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, including pancreatitis. Other candies that are high in sugar content can also effect our pets GI tract (tummy). So it’s for this reason that I recommend keeping the candy out of reach of our four-legged, furry friends!
2. Spooky noises and the dreaded doorbell-
I don’t know about your neighborhood, but my ‘hood has a lot of kids … and LOTS of Halloween activity!
On a normal day, my dog gets stressed about people and their pets walking by the house, let alone ringing the doorbell. You can imagine how stressed she is on Halloween night- where there is a constant ﬂow of people dressed up in abnormal outﬁts, walking up the sidewalk, through our gate then ringing the doorbell and screaming out “Trick-or-Treat” as loud as they can! Not to mention, the screaming and ﬁrecrackers that are forever going off in the background. Providing your pet with a quiet and calm outlet from this madness is essential. In a quiet and calm space, build a comforting nook for your pet with water, treats and a soft bed so they can feel safe. Other ideas are to use pheromone sprays, a thunder shirt, Bach ﬂower remedy and soothing music to help keep your pet relaxed. This is a good night to keep your indoor/outdoor kitty inside.
Remember, as much as you are enjoying the celebration and activity, not all pets want to engage and be involved! If you know your pet will be anxious, talk to your veterinarian to see if a sedative would be right for your dog or cat. There are also other natural options you can discuss, such as l-theanine.
There is nothing cuter than a dachshund in a hot dog costume! If you’re going to dress your pet up for Halloween, follow these guidelines to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable.
-Be aware of any elastic on their costume. Elastic can cut off circulation, and can also be painful if too tight.
-Be conscious of the length of costumes. If too long, pets can trip over their costume, or trip others- causing injury.
-PAY ATTENTION while your pet is in their costume. They may chew on consume pieces and parts, which could potentially lead to a foreign body, or obstruction.
-No paint! Remember, paint should never be applied directly on a pets coat or skin.
-Be cautious with masks. If your pets costume involved a mask, be sure they can see where they are going, and it doesn’t hinder they’re sight in any way.
4. Door darters, beware! Many pets react differently when they are stressed. Some pets are what we like to call “Door Darters”. Instead of hiding when scared, Door Darters just want to get away from whatever is causing them stress. If you have (or think you have) a Door Darter, please crate them or lock them in a quiet room for the night to ensure their safety. Halloween is one of the nights with the highest incidences of pets that get hit by cars so please, please keep your pets safe!
Have an amazing, spooky and SAFE Halloween, everyone! And have fun!
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