Trick or treat! It’s that time of year again! Halloween can be a fun holiday for people, but it can be a dangerous one for pets if their owners aren’t aware of the potential threats. As always, Colony Animal Hospital in Newport News wants to make sure that your companions are safe, which is why we recommend the following six Halloween safety tips.
- Choose Your Pet Costume Wisely
If you’ll be dressing your pet up, make sure the costume is comfortable and not too tight. If your pet is a “chewer,” it’s best to avoid buying a costume with loose, dangling, or small pieces that can pose a choking hazard if ingested. Always save your receipts, in case you have to make an exchange. It’s also a good idea to try to get your pet comfortable in the costume a few days before Halloween.
- Provide Sufficient Identification
At the very least, Colony Animal Hospital recommends that your pet have an ID tag/collar with your current contact information. You may also want to consider microchipping your pet to provide a permanent form of identification and increase the chances of a happy reunion, should your pet go missing on Halloween—or any other day.
- Don’t Give Pets Candy
We know those big eyes can be hard to resist, but giving pets candy can actually make them sick. Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine that’s toxic to dogs and cats, and the sugar substitute xylitol (common in gums and certain candies) contains ingredients that can lead to hypoglycemia. Buy your fur babies some new doggy/kitty snacks instead so they can enjoy their OWN Halloween treats without getting sick.
- Keep Your Pet Inside
Sadly, Halloween is the time of year when people pull pranks involving pets. It’s best to keep your pet indoors during the week of Halloween, where they can be safe from these pranksters. This is especially important if you have a black cat.
- Use Caution When Decorating
Candles, lit jack-o-lanterns, wires, and items with dangling pieces are just a few of the many decorations that can be dangerous to pets—especially curious pets. Make sure to pet-proof all the decorated areas of your home if your dog or cat is known to snoop around. The last thing you want is to have to make an emergency visit to the vet because your pet ate something they shouldn’t have.
- Keep Your Pet Away from Front Door
Every time that doorbell rings is an opportunity for your pet to dash through the open door. Even if your pet is well trained, having costumed trick-or-treaters arrive at your door every few minutes might cause them to behave erratically, so keep this in mind before trick-or-treat hours begin. Keep your pet in a confined area, away from the front door, both for their safety and that of the trick-or-treaters.
Feel free to give us a call at (757) 877-6464 if you have any questions about the tips mentioned above or if you’d like to learn more about Colony Animal Hospital. Happy Halloween!