Halloween can be a nightmare for household pets. While the holiday is fun for kids, our four-legged friends can get stressed out, scared, and even poisoned by holiday treats and antics. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, here are eight safety tips to keep Fido and Felix safe:
- Trick or treats are not good for pets. All forms of chocolate can be dangerous and even lethal for animals. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate. That caveat includes candies sweetened with xylitol and common sugar substitutes found in sugar-free candies and gum, which can trigger liver failure in dogs.
- Make sure that your pet has the proper ID, such as tags and a collar, along with a microchip in case he or she escapes through an open door as you're distracted with trick-or-treaters. While collars and tags can fall off, a microchip offers a more permanent and foolproof form of identification.
- Beware of lighted candles and jack o' lanterns that may cause burns. Keep them out of reach. The same goes for electric and battery-operated displays. Pets can chew on electrical cords and receive a potentially life-threatening shock. Batteries can cause chemical burns when chewed open.
- If you are putting a costume on your pet, make sure that it's comfortable and safe to wear with no dangling ribbons or strings that can be chewed off or cause choking. Inspect carefully to see that the costume doesn't obstruct seeing, hearing, or breathing. You may want to give your pet a dress rehearsal before the big night so that he or she is familiar with the outfit.
- Keep glow sticks and other glow paraphernalia away from pets. Although the liquid isn't likely to be toxic, according to the AVMA, it tastes bad and will cause your pet to salivate.
- If your pet is wary of strangers or has a tendency to bite, please keep him or her in a closed room with soft music playing.
- Don't leave the pets in the yard. Vicious pranksters have been known to tease and torment household pets. This is especially true for black cats!
- Keep Halloween plants such as corn and pumpkins out of reach. According to Petmd.com, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy pumpkins or corn displays can cause major intestinal distress for pets. It can also cause intestinal blockage if large amounts are accidently eaten.
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