As much as you and your children might enjoy Halloween, this particular holiday can be a stressful one for pets. They don’t understand why you have decorations and carved pumpkins with candles in them around the house and naturally feel curious enough to investigate. Your dog or cat may end up swallowing something inedible or even starting a fire by knocking over a candle. These are just two of several Halloween safety concerns to keep in mind. Westgate Pet Clinic wants to provide the following safety tips to help keep your pets safe and happy during the month of October.
Don’t Share Your Candy
If anyone breaks out the treats before Halloween, instruct them not to share with the family pet regardless of how much he stares at them with sad eyes. Chocolate is especially problematic for pets because it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms associated with gastric distress. The artificial sweetener Xylitol may cause similar problems. If you really want to give your pet a treat, order something especially created for pets from our online store.
Pets Should Remain Indoors
The doorbell ringing and seeing groups of excited children at the door can be too much for your pet to handle. He may try to slip out the door or even become aggressive. To avoid these issues, plan to keep your dog or cat in an area of the house where you can close the door, and reduce noise and anxiety causing stimuli. Be sure to provide his food, bedding, and toys while he stays in the room and check in frequently to make sure he’s okay. You can even buy food puzzles (which lengthen time your pet engages with his food) or toys from our online store to help pass the time.
Another reason pets should stay inside is that October 31 tends to bring out people who like to play pranks or are deliberately cruel to animals. Due to unfounded superstitions about them, this is especially true of black cats. The problem is so widespread that many animal shelters will not allow people to adopt a black cat on or near Halloween.
How to Choose a Safe Costume
Some stores sell such adorable Halloween costumes for pets that it can be hard to resist buying one. If you choose to dress up your dog or cat, be sure you’re always nearby to supervise. Ensure he has no breathing obstructions and can see clearly. Very importantly, watch him carefully for signs of irritation, discomfort or fear which may indicate that he is probably not enjoying being dressed up for the event. Also remember that your pet might chew on the costume and end up swallowing a piece of it. A close eye on your pet’s environment is definitely a “must” for Halloween.
Should you experience an emergency with your pet, call us at (612) 925-1121. If it is after hours, you’ll be directed for the appropriate number to call. Happy Halloween from the staff of Westgate Pet Clinic!
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