Trick or treat! Halloween is just around the corner, and while this is a fun holiday for kids, it can be dangerous for pets if you’re not prepared. To make Halloween a fun, safe time for your canine and feline companions, Animal Clinic of Milford recommends the following five tips:
- Keep the Candy Away From Your Pet
Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine that can actually be toxic to pets if ingested, and the darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and even seizures. Some candies also include the sugar substitute called xylitol, which can also be poisonous to pets, causing a rapid drop in blood sugar. So as a rule of thumb, keep all the Halloween treats out of your pet’s reach.
- Use Caution If Dressing Your Pet
We’ve all seen those cute photos of pets in costumes, so if you’ll be dressing your pet up this year, use caution. While some costumes are harmless, others might be poorly made and leave your pet feeling downright uncomfortable. Make sure there aren’t any parts of the costume that fit too tightly or that can injure your pet. If you plan to leave the costume on for an extended period of time, make sure there aren’t any loose or dangling pieces that can be chewed off. Try getting your pet used to the costume several days before Halloween to see if they’ll be comfortable enough to wear it on the big day.
- Keep Your Pet Indoors
Unfortunately, Halloween is a time when many people pull pranks and steal pets from yards, especially black cats. Some pets may also get startled by all the costumed trick-or-treaters walking by, so if you have an outdoor pet, it’s best to keep them indoors during Halloween week for their safety.
- Make Sure Your Pet Has ID
In the event that your pet becomes separated from you on Halloween, proper identification can help them return home to you. Make sure your pet has an ID tag and collar. You may also want to consider a microchip, which is a permanent form of identification that’s imbedded just beneath the surface of the skin near the shoulder blades.
- Keep Your Pet Away From the Front Door
Ding dong! Most pets know when they hear that doorbell that someone is at the front door and will run toward it to see who’s visiting, but seeing a stranger dressed in a costume might frighten them or cause them to misbehave. Some pets might even attempt to slip out of the open door. For your pet’s safety and for that of the trick-or-treaters, keep your pet away from the front door in a confined area during trick-or-treat hours.
If you have questions about these tips or need to schedule an appointment for your pet, feel free to contact us at (203) 882-8311.