This Halloween, enjoy the festivities with your dogs. Integrative Veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne, DMV, offers a few simple safety tips for pets and their owners to help ensure fun for all while trick or treating this season.
By Guest blogger Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM
Pet lovers planning to celebrate the Halloween festivities with their dogs and cats might take a few minutes to bone up on their Pet Halloween Safety I.Q. to help ensure a fun and safe holiday for all this year.
Spooky decorations, bowls of tempting candy, brightly light jack-o-lanterns, and all kinds of new and unusual sights, sounds, and smells make this holiday exciting for all of us, especially our pets. While most of us enjoy the spine-tingling festivities associated with the spirit of Halloween, this October holiday also carries many surprising threats that can be hazardous to pets.
Pet Costumes are fun provided that your pet enjoys being dressed up and their costume fits properly. Masks, in general, are probably better for human goblins rather than pets—that way, your pet’s vision, and hearing are not obstructed, which helps reduce fear and stress. If you’re considering wigs or hats, remember rubber bands are risky and should never be used on pets. They can lead to choking, and the rubber band itself can become buried under your pet’s fur, necessitating surgical removal in some instances.
Pets that are very young, very old, those that may be pregnant or in heat are usually happiest left at home with an excellent place for R&R so that when they have had enough of the festivities, they can retreat and relax.
Because black cats tend to be targeted for pranksters on Halloween, keeping them inside helps to ensure their safety.
When it comes to candy and chocolates, avoid both for pets. Remember that xylitol, a sweetener in specific candy, can lead to low blood sugar and liver toxicity, and chocolate contains Theobromide, a central nervous system toxin.
Tinfoil, cellophane wrappers, and lollipop sticks can become hazardous if pets swallow them. They can also lead to a painful intestinal obstruction necessitating a trip to your local pet emergency facility.
Fake spider webs are particularly enticing to cats who enjoy playing with the stringy substance as a toy. Some cats get themselves tangled up in the web. Still, many enjoy eating them, which can lead to intestinal obstruction and vomiting with candy wrappers and tin foil, necessitating an expensive visit to the local pet emergency facility.
Baby gates are an option to help prevent pets from slipping outside while you pass out treats at your front door. Leashes and collars with up-to-date I.D. tags are also a good idea.
Instead of lighting traditional candles, battery-powered Jack-o-lantern bulbs are a safe and effective alternative.
Bach’s 5 Flower Rescue Remedy Safe works well to calm and relax nervously, stressed pets safely. A few drops in your pet’s food or water bowl or adding a few drops directly in your pet’s mouth usually works like a charm.
Keep the phone number of your local veterinary emergency facility and that of the ASPCA Poison Control Center in a convenient location just in case.
To reach the ASPCA Poison Control Center, call 1-888-426-4435.
Having a Pet First Aid kit on hand is also a good idea.
Halloween offers us loads of devilish goblins, fun, and festivity. Remembering that your pets depend on you to stay safe helps ensure a fun and safe holiday for all!
about the author
Dr. Carol is an author and world-renowned integrative veterinarian of twenty-plus years. After graduating from the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Carol completed a prestigious internship at the Columbus Zoo. Shortly afterward, she launched a very successful private practice and became the founder and director of the non-profit organization, the American Pet Institute. Dr. Carol offers traditional veterinary care for dogs and cats with a softer, natural touch. Her approach highlights the importance of nutrition and utilizing holistic avenues in combination with conventional treatments.
Dr. Carol has appeared on Fox & Friends, The Today Show, Good Day L.A., and Discovery’s Animal Planet several times. She’s also been featured in USA Today, The L.A. Times, Ladies Home Journal, Woman’s World, InStyle, and the New York Daily News. http://chagrinfallspetclinic.com