When we think of Halloween, we usually think of trick-or-treaters, jack-o-lanterns, and lots of fun. But it can actually be one of the most dangerous evenings of the year for pets. We wrote this article to teach you about the threats that your pet faces on Halloween so that you can take simple actions to prevent any possibly dangerous scenarios. This way, you can relax and enjoy the holiday!
An important note before we begin: Multiple threats we’ll discuss below involve losing your pet. Pets who are microchipped are returned home safely at a significantly higher rate than pets who aren’t. So if your pet is not yet microchipped, please call us now to make your appointment. The procedure is painless, fast, and inexpensive.
The above chart illustrates the harm that types of chocolate can cause your pet based on their weight. As you can see, baking chocolate is the most dangerous type of chocolate, followed by dark chocolate. The sweetener xylitol is also present in many types of candy and can cause serious health issues in dogs. Even a small amount ingested can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar and seizures.
Most pet owners are already aware that candy is bad for pets. But because candy is so plentiful on Halloween, it’s important to take special precautions to make sure that your dog or cat doesn’t find themselves in a dangerous situation. Candy ingestion can pose significant health risks to pets, and can even be fatal. And if your dog or cat eats wrapped candy, the wrapper can obstruct your pet’s digestive system, which is an emergency situation.
Please don’t ever give your pet candy, and make sure your children know never to share candy with your dog or cat. Also, make sure that all candy is stored in areas that your pets can’t access – such as in cabinets, locked pantries, etc.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning:
- Upset stomach
- Rapid breathing/heart rate
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, please call us right away. If we are closed, you can contact the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.
Tragically, there is a large spike in animal cruelty incidences around Halloween. For reasons difficult to understand, some people will tease, harm, steal, or even kill animals around the holiday, with incidences spiking on Halloween night. Often times, black cats are the victims of these crimes. Because of this, many shelters won’t adopt out their black cats during October.
Please, make sure to keep your pet indoors on Halloween. And be extra vigilant on the days around Halloween as well.
There are a few factors that lead to Halloween having one of the highest incidences of pets running away. First, because of parties and trick-or-treaters, the door is constantly opening. And pets can become stressed with all the strange activity and people around. Because of this, dashing outside can become appealing. It’s important to take precautions so that your pet won’t have the chance to escape.
First, make sure that your pet doesn’t have access to a door that will be opened to an escape route (such as the front door). Our advice is to set up a gated or secured room that your pet can feel comfortable in.
Side note: Make sure that your dog doesn’t have access to trick-or-treaters. Dogs can be especially territorial, and even dogs who are usually gentle can growl when they feel a stranger is encroaching upon their home.
They can be adorable and hilarious, but sometimes costumes can actually be a threat to a pet’s health or well-being. If you would like to dress up your pet in a costume for Halloween, it’s important to have them try it on before the night they’ll be wearing it. You’ll want to look for signs of discomfort or anxiety. If they are uncomfortable in the costume, you shouldn’t dress them in it for more than a few minutes.
More importantly, make sure that the costume doesn’t inhibit their breathing or movement. And be sure that they can open and close their mouths easily in the costume. It’s also important to avoid costumes with dangling parts, as these can become choking hazards.
Pets can be curious about the decorations used on Halloween. Jack-O-Lanterns can be knocked over by unsuspecting or curious pets, and can become a fire hazard. Kittens are especially susceptible to burns. Make sure that your pet does not have unsupervised access to any lit pumpkins.
Dangling ornaments and wires can ensnare or even strangle pets. It’s important to make sure that these decorations are carefully out of reach of your dog or cat.
Now that you know about the scary stuff, you can enjoy the spooky stuff! On behalf of the team at UVH, we hope you and your pet have a very Happy Halloween!