Thursday, October 25, 2012
Pet Smarts: Keep pets safe during Halloween season by following some simple safety tips
Michelle Jude, DVM
Sheabel Pet Care Center
Halloween time can be scary for us all, but especially for our four legged friends. Follow these simple tips and make your pet’s Halloween safe and fun for all.
(Photos from Sheabel's Facebook page)
1. Keep those candy bags out of reach. We all know that chocolate can be toxic to our pets, especially dark and baking chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine that can cause tremors, toxin found in the candy bags is xylitol, an artificial sweetner that is often found in sugarless candies like gum. Very small amounts can cause acute hypoglycemia and liver failure. If ingestion occurs you should call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 immediately.
2. Doorbells will make many pets nervous. When trick or treating is going on it might be best to put our pets in a safe, secure room. Added stress is not good for pets, especially when people are dressed in costumes. Plus leaving them out puts them at risk of running out the door or biting a visitor. Be sure to have your pet’s collar on them and microchips are wonderful in case they do escape out the door.
3. Costume safety. I know it is very tempting to dress our babies up in costumes but be sure your pet is happy in a costume. Be sure it fits good and does not have elastic that will be tight anywhere on the pet. Be sure you are supervising your pet when he has his costume on, ingestion can require a scary trip to the emergency veterinarian.
4. Watch out for decorations and electric cords. Decorations can be attractive to play with for many pets, which can lead to ingestion. Watch power cords because these can electrocute pets if chewed on. Ingestion of spider webs can be bad news so avoid using these where pets will be.
5. Jack-O-Lanterns and candles. These fun decorations can be a fire hazard if animals accidentally knock them over or can burn them if they get to close. An alternative would be to use battery operated lights instead of candles.
6. Keep your pets indoors throughout the Halloween season. It is always a good idea to keep your pets indoors during the season because some pranksters may be cruel to animals. Some adoption agencies will not adopt out black cats this time of year for that reason.
Following these tips will make trick or treat time safe and fun for everyone, including our pets. We would love to see pictures of your pets dressed up for the event (with supervision of course). Please visit our Facebook page and post your favorite pet in their costume. Have a safe and Happy Halloween.
Dr. Michelle Jude is a veterinarian at Sheabel Pet Care Center. She graduated from Campbellsville University in 2000. Jude worked as a technician at Sheabel before attending veterinary school at Auburn University.