Halloween is almost here! Dressing up Fifi or Buster is always fun, however you need to be just as vigilant with your safety precautions for pets during this celebration as you would be with all the upcoming holiday festivities. I've put together a few tips for keeping your furry friends safe and healthy on Halloween, which represents the kick-off of the late year holiday season.
There are some fabulous Halloween costumes available for pets and some kid costumes can be adapted to fit your furry "children." When choosing a costume, keep the following in mind:
- Tie or remove any strings that could be eaten.
- Keep your animal with you while the costume is on to decrease the chance of ingestion or strangulation.
- Look for Velcro closures around the neck that can be easily removed.
- Make sure your pet won't trip on a cape or hanging piece of material.
- Not all animals enjoy costumes. Take it off if your pet seems anxious or keeps pawing at the clothing.
Halloween is all about the candy. Make sure you have some pet appropriate treats around for the evening and watch out for the following:
- No matter how much begging is going on, don’t give your dog chocolate, raisins or even worse, chocolate-covered raisins. These are the top two most common food toxicities.
- Keep the "loot" bags out of reach of your pet. If your pet decides to devour the bag, a call to your veterinarian is recommended. Your pet could experience vomiting, diarrhea or blood sugar control problems. Or, some of the items could become lodged in the intestines causing a blockage.
- Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets that nibble on them.
- Do you have a black cat? Keep it indoors for the night.
- If your pet gets over stimulated by the doorbell, consider placing a sign at the front door asking trick-or-treaters to knock; or talk with your family vet about a mild sedative for the evening.
- Place jack-o-lanterns in a safe place where they won't get knocked over by your pet and set a tail or your house on fire.
- Have a designated quiet room for your pets where they can feel safe if you have a party in your home.
About Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado:
Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado, (VRCC), is a specialty veterinary hospital offering the highest level of care for pets, including a 24-hour emergency hospital and critical care center. Some of the world’s leading veterinary specialists are on-site offering expertise in Cardiology, Dermatology/Allergy, Emergency Care, Internal Medicine, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Oncology/Radiation Therapy, Ophthalmology, and Surgery. More information on VRCC can be found at www.vrcc.com.
Luke Rump, DVM, is co-owner of Central Veterinary Emergency Services at Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado (VRCC) in Englewood, Colo. To find out more about Dr. Rump and his practice, please visit www.vrcc.com.