A lot of people consider pets to be part of their family, so it makes sense that they’d want to include them in their holiday celebrations. Whether it’s putting some leftover turkey in their bowl after Thanksgiving dinner, or wrapping toys for them to tear open on Christmas morning, these traditions are typically more for humans than their pets (but it’s not as though they’re going to turn down seasonal poultry).
This also includes Halloween. First, there’s the temptation to put them in a costume (adorable, sure, but if your pet doesn’t appear to appreciate their outfit and it’s stressing them out, it’s probably best to skip it). And beyond that, it’s also a good idea to consider how to keep your pet safe on Halloween night and the rest of the season as well. Here’s what you need to know.
As it turns out, some of the most popular aspects of Halloween can pose safety risks for pets. Here’s what to keep an eye on during trick-or-treating, and the rest of the Halloween season.
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You probably already know that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate, but it’s also something to keep away from other pets. This is for good reason: it can lead to hyperactivity, heart damage, seizures or even death.
If your dog does somehow end up eating some chocolate, immediately take them to the vet—provided the office is less than a half hour away, Dr. Mark Magazu, a veterinarian with Saint Francis Veterinary Center of South Jersey told Newsradio KYW. If it would take longer than that, Magazu recommends giving your dog hydrogen peroxide to make them vomit—about one teaspoon for every five pounds.
In addition to chocolate, candy containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can also be bad news for pets. “Xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, or it can result in seizures or alter mentation or it could even cause liver damage,” Dr. Ken Drobatz, professor of emergency medicine at Penn Vet told Newsradio KYW.
They may be a staple of fall decorating, but pumpkins can also be hazardous to pets. New, fresh pumpkins should be fine, but if your pet ingests any that have become rotten and/or moldy, they could be poisonous, thanks to fungal neurotoxins, according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
And if you opt for jack-o’-lanterns, stick with battery-operated candles instead of the real deal, which could be a fire hazard.
Make sure any other decorations you have are dog-and-cat-friendly. This means avoiding anything that they could get caught in, wrapped around their neck, or be eaten and cause severe intestinal damage, according to Drobatz.