Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween is a fun time for children and families but it can be very scary for pets! Follow these tips to keep your furry family members safe and healthy this Halloween.

Trick-or-treat candy is not for pets

All forms of chocolate are dangerous for dogs and cats. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate are even more dangerous.  Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, tremors, and seizures. Other Halloween candies and gums may contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol which is very poisonous to pets. Even small amounts of xylitol can be deadly.  Symptoms can include loss of coordination and seizures.  Pets are indiscriminate when it comes to eating tasty treats and can gorge themselves on snacks and food meant for humans. Large ingestions of sugary, high-fat candy can lead to gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis in pets. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and very painful and sometimes fatal.  Symptoms include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain.  Symptoms of candy related problems may not show up immediately but it is important to have your pets treated quickly.  If your pet consumes any candy or chocolate you should call your veterinarian immediately.

Don’t leave your pets outside or unsupervised on Halloween

People wearing costumes and strange noises are very scary for pets! Fearful pets may escape and run away out of fear.  Some dogs may feel threatened and could bite or injure trick-or-treaters.  Sadly, some pranksters with bad intentions may try to steal your pets. Keep your pets in a secure room or kennel away from the door.  Make sure your pets have identification on including your phone number.  Having your pet microchipped and making sure the microchip contact information is up to date is also important.  

Keep decorations, wires, lights, and toys out of your pet’s reach

Chewing on wires could cause your pet electrical shock or an electrical burn in their mouth.  Other lights and decorations can be very dangerous if chewed on or swallowed. Candles and jack-o-lanterns can cause burns.  Glow sticks cause irritation to pet’s mouth and gastrointestinal system.  

Be cautious with costumes

Its sure is fun to dress our pets up in Halloween costumes!  Not all pets enjoy costumes so just make sure it does not cause too much stress to them.  Poorly fitting costumes can cause rubs or sores.  Make sure pets are always supervised so that they do not chew and swallow part of their costume.  

Have a fun and safe Halloween from everyone at Spring Branch Veterinary Hospital!