Sat October 26, 2013
Halloween and Your Pet
Halloween can be a fun time for people and pets, as long as the humans make sure their furry buddies are comfortable and safe!
This is the week for Halloween, with all the costumes and decorations and yummy candy and other treats. Like so many other celebrations we enjoy, this one can pose some very real hazards for our pets.
First on the list is chocolate which contains chemicals that can be poisonous for both dogs and cats. Dark chocolate poses the greatest danger. Just one ounce can make a 40-50 pound dog sick. Milk chocolate is less dangerous but less than half a pound can cause problems for that same dog. By comparison, white chocolate, is relatively safe.
The next issue has to do with letting your pet have candy at all, especially large quantities of it. Allowing your furry friend to over-indulge on rich sugary goodies could lead to pancreatitis, which is painful and could even be fatal. Because it takes time for the pancreas to react, it might be several days before symptoms show up to indicate there’s a problem. Sugar-free candy can be even more deadly to your pet if it contains the artificial sweetener, Xylitol.
In case you decide to skip the sugary candy and hand out healthy snacks, remember that raisins (like grapes) are extremely poisonous for both dogs and cats. Eating even small amounts could cause kidney failure in your four-footed friend. Chocolate, candy and raisins should be kept in pet-proof containers.
Fourth on my list is candy wrappers. Pets will eat the candy wrapper and all. Even if the candy doesn’t make your pet sick, those cellophane and foil wrappers in its digestive tract could create a blockage. If that happens, surgery may be necessary to save the animal’s life.
There are other potential Halloween dangers for pets, including costumes. If you want to dress up your pet, make sure the costume does not interfere with its ability to see, breathe and move which could cause discomfort and distress to the animal in what already could be a confusing and frightening time.
The trick to keeping your pet safe and sound on Halloween is treating it with care and respect, when you’re speaking of pets.