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How to Have a Pet-Safe Halloween

Halloween occurs at the end of this month, and trick-or-treat night falls right around the same time. Unfortunately, these occasions present many hazards for our four-legged companions. Don’t let this Halloween turn into a real nightmare—avoid these dangers as discussed by your Hutchinson Island veterinarian.

Costumes

Thinking of dressing your pet up in her own Halloween costume this year? Just make sure your pet isn’t too stressed out by wearing it, as some pets can become quite agitated when they can’t get costumes off. Also check the material itself to make sure there aren’t any small, breakable pieces that a pet could choke on.

Chocolate

Chocolate treats abound during Halloween. Of course, it’s very bad for our companion animals. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are harmful to pets. Ingestion could result in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, breathing issues, seizures, and worse! Keep chocolate where pets don’t have access, and call your vet immediately if your pet does accidentally swallow some.

Candy

Many candies and gums are sweetened with an artificial sugar called xylitol. It’s toxic to pets, causing severe reactions like seizures and vomiting, and it doesn’t take a lot of candy or gum to induce symptoms. Take steps to have your cat or dog avoid candies and gum at all costs.

Holiday Decorations

If you’ve set up electrified Halloween decorations like plastic pumpkins or spooky glowing ghosts, make sure all wires and cords are safely secured so pets can’t get tangled up in them. Be sure to watch any festive holiday corn or real pumpkins, too—they’re not particularly toxic, but eating too much will probably cause your pet to have an upset stomach at the very least. They’re also a choking hazard.

Escape

One of the most common hazards around Halloween and trick-or-treat is one you may not have thought of: escape. With the doorbell ringing constantly, many pets will dart to the door every time they hear the bell, excited to greet the newest arrival. Don’t let your pet run out the door into the night! If necessary, keep your pet tethered up or contained in an upstairs room to prevent escape.

Make sure this Halloween doesn’t get truly scary—contact your Hutchinson Island veterinarian for more great holiday tips!

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