The chill in the air, the spooky decorations and bustle of trick-or-treaters that makes everyone tingle with excitement, might also leave your pet running scared. We at Central Veterinary Associates know that pets are family and therefore Halloween safety should be as much a priority for your pets as it is for your human loved ones.
There has been a rising popularity in dressing up pets in costumes in recent years. Although often adorable, this attire can also pose a danger to the health and safety of your pet by increasing stress and anxiety. What may look cute and fuzzy to you, may be triggering high levels of anxiety in your pet. Cats and dogs are especially susceptible and may exhibits signs of discomfort, such as folded down ears, eyes rolling back or looking sideways, a tucked tail, hunching over and complete removal of the costume. If this sounds like your pet, opt instead for something more comfortable, like a festive collar or leash.
If your pet is unbothered by the costume, still ensure that its fabric doesn’t hang too low, which could cause them to stumble. Also make sure that the attire does not obstruct vision, hearing or mobility. Never tie anything around his or her neck that could cause the animal to choke and be strangled. As discussed in an earlier post, it’s important to remove any chewable parts or objects that could potentially get lodged in the animal’s throat and cause them to choke.
Another concern for pet parents this Halloween; candy. Treats containing chocolate and xylitol (a sweetener used in many foods) are most common on this day, but can be extremely poisonous to pets. To prevent your furry friends from getting their paws on these hazardous sweets, place candy in high or locked cabinets, out of the reach of animals and small children. Youngsters can often make the grave mistake of handing over delicious human food to their furry siblings, which could have detrimental ramifications.
As tempting as it may be, do not bring your animals along with you for trick-or-treating festivities if they are easily spooked. Even the most well-behaved animals can be spooked or become aggressive from the howl of a neighborhood werewolf or sight of a scary Freddy Krueger mask (let’s face it, that last one still gives us goosebumps). Keep your pets inside, in a room separate from the trick-or-treaters. Too many strangers will frighten and overwhelm them, causing dogs to become over-protective or even aggressive and cats to scurry out of the house. Always make sure your pet has a proper identification tag or microchip should they slip out the door while you’re trying to pass out goodie bags.
With these tips, you’ll be able to keep Halloween fun and safe for all of your loved ones, including your four-legged friends. In the event that your pet ingests candy, has a panic or attack, or escapes, contact your local Central Veterinary Associates clinic for medical assistance and remember that the Valley Stream location is open 24/7/365, including on Halloween.