By Kendra Martin
Halloween is a fun holiday to collect all kinds of candies and dress up in costumes but not every member of the family likes the festivities. Everyone loves to have their pets involved and dressed up in the cute costumes that they see at the pet stores but just like other holidays there’s some precautions that should be taken to keep them safe.
Pets are super cute and costumes just add to that but choosing the right costume is very important. Try to make sure that the costume fits properly and seems generally comfortable to them. If it seems they are having trouble walking or breathing that’s probably not the best one. Always keep a close eye on them because sometimes they will remove it themselves causing them to eat certain parts and that can make them sick. Also, if there are any parts that hang off such as strings, ties, belts or sashes they can cause bodily injury if they become too tight or even cause strangulation. Costumes can be really fun just make sure they are supervised properly while wearing them to insure their safety.
Everyone loves to collect candy and pets love that too but it’s best to keep it as far away as possible. All forms of chocolate are toxic especially baking and dark chocolate. It can become lethal for dogs and cats rather quickly. Also a lot of sugar free candies out there have xylitol in them now and that again is very toxic to animals and can affect them rather quickly. Some symptoms to watch for are vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, seizures and loss of coordination. Sometimes even wrappers and lollipop sticks can easily become choking hazards. If you are concerned at all please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Decorations are really neat to see especially the really elaborate ones, with all the lights and creatures all around. As much as we enjoy them sometimes our pets will try to figure them out by getting into everything. They can find wires and even little or big decorations and put them in their mouths which can harm them. Lanterns or candles can easily be knocked over and start something on fire or they can burn themselves trying to investigate too closely. Try to make sure that all decorations are out of reach or placed where they won’t become harmful. Sometimes pets even like to chew and play with glow sticks that can break open and cause your pet to salivate heavily or even act strangely. Most are not toxic but it’s never a bad idea to contact poison control (ASPCA Poison Control 888-426-4435) or your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Pets are of course very important to all of us so making sure they are safe and secure is a great idea. It’s not a good idea to let your pets out without supervision because some people think it’s fun to pull pranks on them, tease them, injure them, steal them or even worse. Try to keep all cats inside a few days before Halloween to a few days after Halloween especially if they are black. Also some pets will scare a lot easier with constant noise and ringing of the doorbell all night. If your pet is one to get overly excited every time someone comes to the door it might be a good idea to have them in a different part of the house for the night. Also costumes can scare them easily because it’s not something they normally see. Always make sure your pet has proper identification on just in case they do get loose.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry but just in case anything would happen it’s always good to be prepared. Always have an emergency Veterinary phone number and location ready with directions.
Berks Animal Emergency and Referral – 610-775-7535
400 West Lancaster Avenue, Shillington PA 19607
Metropolitan Veterinary Associates and Emergency – 610-666-1050
2626 Van Buren Avenue, Valley Forge PA 19482
Hope Veterinary Specialist – 610-926-2099
40 Three Tun Road, Malvern PA 19355
PETS Emergency – 717-295-7387
930 North Queen Street, Lancaster PA 17603
ASPCA PET POISON HELPLINE – 888-426-4435