Halloween Safety Tips

                                                                                                                                                    

Keep your pets safe this Halloween!

Between the commotion, the candy, and the costumes Halloween can certainly be a SPOOKY time for our furry friends

This list is somewhat redundant from year to year but a fair warning is still warranted.  With a little extra thought and some common sense you and your pet can safely enjoy the festivities of fall.

  • Commotion:

Even the sweetest looking butterfly or stoic superhero can be frightening to your four-legged friend.   Trick-or-treaters, no matter how cute and innocent, will probably throw your pet into protective mode.  To ease some of your pets anxieties it’s best to keep them confined in a quiet room.  Make sure to close the blinds and if possible turn on the TV or play music to try to buffer the outside noise.

  • Candy:

I know this is very obvious but keeping candy away from your pets is much easier said than done.  Most cats I know cruise the countertops and many dogs too!  Or how about when your kids empty their bags to take inventory of their goodies and leave their piles unattended?  Even candy wrappers or lollipop sticks have been known to cause life-threatening emergencies.  Keep all candy in a container with a lid, in a drawer, or in a cabinet.

Obviously, any kind of candy can be harmful to your furry baby but here are THREE major concerns when it comes to Candy and your pet:

1.  Chocolate: 

Most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to pets.  There are lots and lots of misconceptions about chocolate toxicity.  (Check out  The Truth About Chocolate article.)  Bottom line- chocolate is certainly not good for your pet, but if your pet does get a hold of a few M&M’s there is no need to rush to the Emergency Room!  Chocolate toxicity greatly depends on the size of the pet as well as the type of chocolate.  The component found in chocolate that poses danger to our pets is the Threobromine as well as caffeine.  For example, Unsweetened (Baker’s) Chocolate contains 8-10 times the amount of Theobromine as milk chocolate making it much more dangerous than the typical chocolate candy bar. (http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/winterinfo/a/halloweensafety.htm)

2.  Sugar free sweets:  

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly found in chewing gums,  as well as many sugar free candies, baked goods, and beverages.  Now THIS ingredient should throw up red flags for pet owners.  Not much xylitol is needed to send your pet to the ER.

“Xylitol is estimated to be 100 times as toxic as chocolate to dogs.”

 If consumed by a dog, xylitol causes blood sugar to drop significantly initiating hypoglycemia.  This is often times very critical and happens quickly after consumption.  If you suspect your pet ingested anything containing this ingredient seek veterinary attention immediately.

 3.    Candy Wrappers:

Most dogs don’t bother removing the candy wrapper before “chowing down”! Obviously, wrappers aren’t going to poison your pet but they can create pretty good obstruction.  Foil is big culprit as are lollipop sticks and plastic wrappers.

Costumes:

While we know it’s fun to dress up your pets be thoughtful if you plan on doing so.  Be sure the costume does not restrain your pet’s ability to move or breath; make sure there are no loose objects that could cause choking.  Always supervise your pet while they are dressed up.  And don’t force the issue too much!!!  If they persistently oppose their costume, just let it go!  (and explain they are dressed up as a person in a fur coat!)

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