By Dr. Colleen McCafferty, Chief of Staff & Veterinarian
Halloween is a holiday that has become a favorite for many out there. As a veterinarian, I can’t help but think about the horror movie that it can end up being for some pets! Check out these 4 tips to make sure your pet has as much fun this Halloween season as you do:
Keep the candy out of reach – Probably a good idea for us humans, too! Keeping the candy and chocolate out of reach from your furry friends is extremely important for their safety. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate and baking chocolate, is extremely toxic to most pets and can be fatal. Most sugar free candies on the market today have an ingredient called Xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that is also toxic to animals. In addition, cellophane wrappers can give your pet an upset stomach resulting in vomiting/diarrhea. If your pet gets into candy or chocolate of any kind, please contact us immediately or contact The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Jack-O-Lanterns and Corn Cobs – These plants have been a staple in my Halloween household for as long as I can remember. While these plants aren’t toxic, they can still cause stomach issues [vomiting or diarrhea] if large quantities or consumed. In extreme cases, intestinal blockage can sometimes occur. Please be mindful of lit candles, as well, as excited pets may accidentally knock a Jack-O-Lantern over resulting in being burned and potentially further damage.
Time to be Antisocial – Pets can be spooked by the increased number of people and costumes that they see on Halloween. We suggest keeping your pet in a secure and quiet room before trick-or-treaters arrive at your home. A doorbell that continues to ring and a parade of spooky costumes can cause anxiety for your pet.
Microchip – If you are bringing your pet trick or treating with you, please make sure they are properly microchipped and have a collar with up-to-date tags. An interesting statistic from the AVMA shows that dogs without microchips are only reunited with their owners 21.9% of the time. Cats without microchips are only reunited with their owner 1.8% of the time. We will be happy to discuss microchips with you at your next visit. Please click here if you would like to schedule an online appointment to have your pet microchipped.
Happy Halloween from all of us at Huffard Animal Hospital. Give us a call at 410.768.3620 if you have any questions about your pets safety this holiday season.