Halloween is a fun time for many family members. However, the furry members of the family may not think so highly of this particular holiday. With different toxins, people, and the spooky night, there are multiple hazards your pet may be exposed to. I would like to go over some pet safety tips for the Halloween season.
Candy, Candy, Candy
Candy and treats. Halloween is a time when candy and treats are out in abundance. Unfortunately, dentists are not the only ones that see increased work from this.
Every year, we have to treat dogs that get into excessive amounts of Halloween chocolate. As it is somewhat commonly known, chocolate has a toxic property in dogs. The effect is dose dependent, so the smaller the dog the bigger the concern.
If you see it happen or notice it right after the dog has eaten chocolate, we can induce vomiting and the dog will be fine. In more severe cases where we can’t get the chocolate out, supportive care in the hospital is often needed.
If your dog ate a small quantity of chocolate, call us and we will check the amount eaten against well established standards and can tell you quickly if we need to take immediate action.
A threat that is actually far more ominous than chocolate in dogs is ingesting xylitol. What is xylitol? It is an artificial sweetener in sugar free gums and candy. Some Halloween treats may be sweetened with this.
Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. It will initially cause severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) then it kills the liver cells. It is not easy to save many of these patients regardless of client resources.
If your dog eats sugar free gum or other treats containing xylitol, get him/her into us fast for treatment. It is an emergency, if we can get the candy out of the dog before absorption. Once this is completed the odds of survival go up considerably.
Trick Or Treat
Many dogs and cats are not thrilled about all the ghoulish visitors coming to the house, ringing the doorbell, making noises, and looking strange. My dog is one of them. She goes absolutely bananas.
Unfortunately, pets will run away, hurt themselves or start biting, all with bad outcomes. Make sure that your pet is in a secure area where he can’t get into trouble on Halloween evening. In a few cases, sedatives may be appropriate, call us if you have questions.
Pranksters and Malicious Acts
Sadly, every year, a few reports come in about pets, especially black cats coming up missing around Halloween. Often the culprits are individuals snatching up black cats or other pets for Halloween related mischief. Make sure that your pets are not allowed to roam free during this time.