Holidays and Pets

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Halloween may be a festive and amusing time for kids and families but not necessarily for pets!   The truth be told this is one of many holidays that really frighten animals.  Let’s look at a few tips to make  this Halloween GREAT for everyone.

 

1. Sweet Treats Are Not For Pets.candy

All forms of chocolate –especially baking or dark chocolate — can be risky, even lethal, for puppies and cats.  Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may also encompass vomiting, diarrhea, speedy breathing, extended heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the synthetic sweetener xylitol can also be toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can make a surprising drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures.  Most gums and lots of candy is sweetened with xylitol, so it is best to keep all sweets away from dogs.

 

outside2. Do Not Leave Your Pet Outside On Halloween

Believe it or not, there are some highly, vicious pranksters out there on Halloween.  They have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night.   We can all be vigilante and safe during this time just by using our common sense.  You would never leave a defenseless child out on a spooky scary night like this. so don’t leave your furbabies out there either.

3.  Keep Pets Confined and Far Away From the Door.

This is for the safety of the trick-or-treater as well as the furbaby.  In order to keep your pets stress-free keep them in another room with other noises to occupy their time.  Strangers could be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for his or her candy.  Dogs are particularly territorial and can turn out to be tense and growl at harmless trick-or-treaters. So, putting your pet in a comfy room far away from the trick-or-treating door can even save them from darting out the door into the night … a night when no one desires to be trying to find a runaway pet.

4.   Don’t Keep Lit Pumpkins Around Pets.litpumpkin

If they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

 

 

5. ID’s, Please!

If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet has a microchip.  Put their name and a phone #  on their collar, so other people can contact you in case they find your scared, lost pet. Make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar, and ID tag) in case your pet escapes through the open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters.

 

 

More Tips For You and Your Pet

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* Walk your dog before trick-or-treaters start their visits. Keep a firm grip on the leash; many dogs are frightened by people in costumes.

* Find a secure place in your home to keep your dogs, especially if you’re giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Many dogs get loose when the door opens, and the presence of little (and big) costumed people often scares animals, increasing the chance dogs will run away or get hit by cars.

* Make sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date I.D. tag.

* Place a dog gate in front of your front door to block access in case someone accidentally lets your pet gateout of the place where he’s confined. Many dogs will run after trick-or-treaters.

* If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises, or a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible at least a half-hour before trick-or-treaters arrive.

* Consider crating your pet, which can make him feel more secure and reduce chances of accidental escapes. Provide chew toys, a favorite blanket, a piece of clothing with your scent on it, or whatever comforts the animal. Play soft music or a recording of soothing sounds.

* If you want to have your dog near the door to greet visitors, keep him on a leash. Pets can become very stressed by holiday activities and unwelcome interruptions in routine. A nervous dog might feel threatened and growl, lunge or bite.

* Keep dogs indoors. It’s a bad idea to leave dogs out in the yard; in addition to the parade of holiday celebrants frightening and agitating them, there have been reports of taunting, poisonings, and pet thefts. Plus they’re likely to bark and howl at the constant flow of treat or treaters.

* As for cats, as the ASPCA and other organizations advise, keep cats indoors at all times.

* Do not leave dogs in cars.

* Keep dogs out of the candy bowl. Dispose of candy wrappers before your pets get to them, since the wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Make sure the dogs can’t get into the trash. Note: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is — and the smaller the lethal dose.

* Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous treats are to pets. Take young children’s candy supply and put it somewhere out of reach of pets. Caution children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor.

* Make sure pets can’t reach candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations or ornaments.

* Halloween costumes can annoy animals and pose safety and health hazards…so think twice before dressing up the dog. Make sure the dog can breathe, see and hear, and that the costume is flame retardant. Remove any small or dangling accessories that could be chewed and swallowed. Avoid rubber bands, which can cut off the animal’s circulation or, if accidentally left on, can burrow and cut into the animal’s skin.

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* If the animal is very high-strung, consult your vet about tranquilizing for the night.

* When walking dogs during or after Halloween, watch carefully for what they might pick up and choke on. Bits of candy and wrappers abound on sidewalks and streets after holidays.

* If you notice these symptoms of chocolate poisoning, go to your vet or an emergency vet right away because your pet’s life may be in danger:

Excessive drooling
Excessive urination
Pupil dilation
Rapid heartbeat
Vomiting and diarrhea
Hyperactivity
Muscle tremors and seizures
Coma

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