1. Treats should be healthy, not toxic. Beware candies with the artificial sweetener xylitol. It causes an unsafe drop in blood sugar in pets. Stay away from all forms of chocolate, especially dark or baker’s chocolate, as these are far more potent than milk chocolate. If your pet may have been poisoned by candy or harmful chemicals, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
2. Decorations should be spooky, not dangerous. While decorative plants like pumpkin and corn are less dangerous than many of the other things your pet could eat, these may cause upset stomachs, so try to keep your pets from nibbling on them. Be careful about candles. Curious cats are especially vulnerable to getting singed.
3. Holidays should be bright, not shocking. Decorative lights and other electronic decorations might have appealing wires, but chewing on them may leave your pet with cuts and burns. Keep wires away from interested pets.
4. Costumes should be fun, not distressing. Make sure pet costumes fit without being too tight or having dangly things your dog or cat could choke on. Whatever you do, do not force a costume on an unwilling pet.
5. Trick-or-Treaters should be awesome, not terrifying. If your pet is disturbed by trick-or-treaters, keep your dog or cat away from the door.
6. Halloween should involve making friends, not escape attempts. If you have a pet that loves trick-or-treaters, you still need to be a careful your opportunistic pet does not get any ideas about that open door. Even pets that are normally well-behaved might get a little goofy from all the festivities. If your pet does get out, a microchip is can help protect them. These extremely tiny chips are not GPS units, but readable, unique identifiers inserted under the skin like a vaccine. They offer a way of identifying your pet that cannot be accidentally pulled off, like a collar. If your pet gets lost, it can be taken to a vet or animal shelter to have its microchip read and be returned to you. Of course, wearing ID tags are the preferred first option, since it can be read by a person.
Have a safe and happy Halloween from Winslow Animal Hospital!