Halloween has its own special ways for resulting in troubles for dogs and cats. Here are a few tips for learning from other people’s troubles.
- Don’t give them candy. Chocolate is not good for dogs or cats. Sugary foods in general are bad for their teeth, especially since they do not brush every day.
- Keep your bowl of candy under close guard or well out of reach. When scoring treats without your permission, dogs have a tendency to consume the wrapper with the treat. Depending on the type and quantity, wrappers can cause intestinal blockage, intestinal bleeding, and/or intestinal perforation. If your dog consumes wrappers, watch it closely for 24 hours. Contact Healing Springs immediately if the dog throws up, has blood in stool, or refuses to eat again over 24 hours.
- The flickering light of a real candle inside a carved pumpkin intrigues some cats. They have been known to play with it and be burned or singed. Keep an eye on cats if they express interest in your Jack-O-Lantern.
- If costuming your pet, be conscious of choking hazards. Dogs, indignant over being costumed, sometimes seek retribution by shredding the outfit. Small bells, buttons, balls and other bite size objects can easily end up in an animal’s windpipes.
- We have never encountered a case of Halloween animal abuse here, but animal groups nationwide report a rise around the holiday. Unsupervised youths have been known to harass and injure pets. As much as possible, keep your pets inside while foot traffic is high.
- Even inside your home, only the most social pets should be faced with a parade of ghouls and goblins. Most petsshould be kept in a separate room during peak trick-or-treating hours.
- Halloween is a great night for indoor pets to wear their collars with ID tags. All the visitors may stress your pets, the door will be opening frequently, and the chances of your pet making a break for it are increased.
- Feel free to serve your pets their kinds of treats around Halloween, to play with them, and to let them in on the holiday in pet appropriate ways.
What about Pets and Chocolate? Chocolate contains a substance poisonous to dogs, theobromine. More bitter chocolate, such as baker’s chocolate or dark chocolate, has more theobromine than sweeter chocolate such as milk chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate contains seven times more theobromine than milk chocolate. While dogs often ingest chocolate without problems, as little as a ¼ ounce of baking chocolate has been shown to cause serious health problems in a 10 lb dog. Dogs reacting to chocolate may exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity, increased thirst, increased urination, and/or increased heart rate. If you know that your dog has ingested chocolate and your dog exhibits one of these signs, call Healing Springs.
Xylitol, a sweetener commonly used in candies and gum, can also be toxic to pets when ingested in large quantities. Xylitol can cause a rapid drop in a pet’s blood sugar resulting in depression, incoordination, and seizures. Packaged treats designed specifically for your type of pet are usually the best treats for their health and safety. Treats showing real meat products as the first ingredient are a good choice.