Halloween is meant to be scary for two-legged animals, so it certainly will raise some pets’ hackles, too. Unfortunately, the following Halloween holiday traditions can be hazardous to your pet’s health, and ruin a perfectly petrifying party.
Costumes that put pets in a bind
We love seeing your pets dressed up in Halloween costumes, so stop by with your masked four-legged hero or tag us in your social media photos. But, before you head out with your tiny taco or jaunty jailbird, ensure that your pet’s costume fits well—costumes that are too restrictive can interfere with your pet’s breathing, while too-loose costumes that hang low can trip your pet. Also, check the costume for loose baubles and beads that could pose a choking hazard for your elfen Elvis if ingested. Last but not least, avoid masks, which can interfere with your pet’s vision.
Chocolate is not so sweet for dogs
Whether you have a trick-or-treater who will be making the candy rounds, or have good stuff you are handing out, know that chocolate can be deadly to dogs. Chocolate contains two methylxanthines, theobromine and caffeine, that can upset dogs, depending on the type of chocolate and the amount eaten. In general, the sweeter the chocolate, the less toxic, which is good news at Halloween, because most treats are milk chocolate. If your dog ingests dark chocolate, however, he could be in trouble. Give us a call immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate.
Candy can clog up your pet, with nowhere to go
You’ve disposed of all the chocolate—we won’t tell anyone if you ate it all—but your dog is still not safe, because those candy buckets still contain hard-to-resist treats, many of them wrapped in hard-to-digest materials. Dogs aren’t known to ration their supplies, so your pet will likely gobble up the whole bowl of candy if given a chance. All those wrappers may cause an intestinal blockage that, without treatment, can threaten your dog’s life.
Fruit of the gloom for dogs
Halloween is all about sugar highs and scary sights, but there’s always one neighborhood family who hands out healthy “nature’s candy”—raisins. If your two-legged witches and wizards bring home raisins, you must ensure their buckets are stashed out of your hungry hound’s reach. Raisins—and grapes and currants—are more dangerous than chocolate. Researchers aren’t 100% sure why grapes and raisins are so toxic, but a small amount may cause kidney failure in some dogs. If you suspect your dog has eaten raisins, call us right away. The sooner we start treatment, the better the possible outcome.
Don’t set up for a fire drill
Nothing sets a spooky scene like candlelight, which means candles are a popular Halloween decoration. From candelabras to jack-o’-lanterns to neighborhood luminaries, firelight will abound. Keep curious kitties and canines well away, as the dancing flames may be too hard to resist, resulting in a fire or a burned pet who will need medical attention as quickly as possible.
Check your pet’s (micro)chip
Chances are your doorbell will get a workout Halloween night, and all the noise and action can rile up the calmest pet. Each time you open the door to dole out sweets to precious princesses and pirates, your pet could escape. Take a minute before the big night to check that your pet’s microchip company has up-to-date contact information or, if your pet is still not microchipped, take care of that right away. Microchips are responsible for reuniting millions of lost pets with their owners, and the procedure is quick, easy, and painless.
We hope you and yours have a truly ghoulish—and safe—Halloween, but we are here if you need us because your pet has a problem, or needs a microchip.