Halloween costumes, decorations and candy all pose safety risk for pets; follow these tips to keep them safe
For weeks, aisles have been lined with Halloween candy, decorations, costumes and the like. It's a fun time of year, and, in most households, things are looking and feeling a bit more festive. Pets have a natural curiosity, and are attracted to all things Halloween, At times it can get them into trouble!
It's important to remember that the things that we humans view as fun can be especially frightening to pets. Costumes, faces painted with make-up and life-sized decorations can startle pets and cause them to behave unpredictably, so introducing Halloween to any pet with mindfulness and a slow pace is important.
By keeping a few things in mind, you can keep your furry friends safe and keep the fun going this time of year.
Additionally, the days preceding and following Halloween often yield sillly pranks — and some are not-so-playful. In fact, they can be cruel, particularly towards pets, and especially black cats. Don't leave pets outside and unattended during this period.
One of the most common activities, carving pumpkins, is a long-held tradition for adults and kids alike. Keep jack-o-lanterns that are lit with candles away from all pets.
Also, xylitol, a sugar substitute found in sugarless gums, candies and other sweet treats poses a special threat to dogs: it's absorbed rapidly into their bloodstream, where it stimulates the release of a large amount of insulin, which in turn causes extreme hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can lead to liver failure and even death. Use special care with packs of gum in your purse or in your car's console.
Call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 if you suspect your pet has ingested a harmful substance. (You can also download their iPhone app. Click here to learn more.
Avoiding costumes that have small pieces that could be pulled off and choked on is a must, especially for those curious young canines. Some pets are not fond of playing dress up, as evidenced by this video that's made its rounds recently. If you look closely, the video of this cat is not all that it appears.
Lorrie Shaw leads the pets section for AnnArbor.com. Catch her daily dog walking and pet sitting adventures or email her directly.