Halloween Safety Tips
Which popular Halloween treats are most harmful to pets?
Your pet may keep begging for a bite of your Snickers or Twix, but when your dog or cat is near, it’s important to keep all types of candy out of reach. Of all the treats on Halloween, dark chocolate, baking chocolate, and even milk chocolate are the most harmful to your pet. Chocolates contain a particularly toxic ingredient known as methylxanthines, which includes theobromine and caffeine. These ingredients cause most dogs and cats to develop severe symptoms, and possibly acute kidney failure. Other trick-or-treat candies that are dangerous to dogs/cats are many hard candies, lollipops, and mints. Most of those candies include a toxic ingredient: xylitol, which is a common sugar substitute. Large amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, liver failure, and even death in your animal. If your furry companion ever experiences any symptoms of poisoning, contact the Animal Poison Control Center right away.
How can I keep my pets safe during Halloween?
There are many simple tasks you can do to ensure both you and your pet have a fun time on Halloween. Animals, such as cats or dogs, have very curious noses, so make sure to stash away all candy bags and candy bowls from within their reach. Lastly, if you see them experiencing any discomfort or unusual symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive urination, they might
have found a candy bar lying around somewhere. If you have any suspicions of candy poisoning in your animal, again, make sure to contact your veterinary care physician or the Animal Poison Control Center.
What other dangers can harm pets during Halloween?
In addition to keeping your pets away from Halloween treats, it is also important to keep them away from your decorations. Pets can easily knock over a lit jack-o-lantern or candle and start a fire. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn may also produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them. The flurry of visitors at your front door during peak
trick-or-treating hours can also be scary or stressful for some pets, so make sure that they are accounted for! If your pet manages to escape during Halloween activities, make sure to have them wear proper identification. Finally, always keep an eye out for candy wrappers that may find themselves on the ground and in the mouths of your furry friend.
Are costumes safe for pets to wear?
Have your pet wear a costume for prolonged periods of time may cause undue stress. The ASPCA recommends that you do not put your pet into a costume unless you are certain that they are okay with it. Make sure that the costume isn’t too small or awkward as to limit their movement, sight, or ability to breathe. Also, check for dangling or easily chewed-off pieces of clothing to prevent choking. Oversized ill-fitting outfits can also get caught and tangled on external objects which may lead to injury so make sure that they fit just right! Also, do not leave your pet unattended with a costume. Again, loose material may be a choking hazard.