Advice from vets to keep your pets safe this Halloween
By Brittany Anas
Put yourself in your pets’ shoes, err paws, for a minute: A steady stream of humans — disguised in costumes — are ringing the doorbell all night long and shouting “trick or treat.” (Did somebody say treat?! Is that kid dressed as a hot dog?!)
Leading vets are warning pet owners that Halloween can be a confusing, and dangerous, holiday for our furry, four-legged friends — in part because of the parade of strangers at the door and the chocolate candies that get spilled out on the floor by your kids after a successful night of hunting and gathering candy.
We know you want to celebrate with your pet. In fact, the National Retail Federation predicts people will spend $330 million on their pets this Halloween. And we’ll just go ahead and already declare this pug, dressed as Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball, as the winner of every Halloween 2013 costume contest.
But, to make sure that Halloween is safe — and not scary — obey these few commands from the American Veterinary Medical Association:
- Be sure your pet is carrying id — year-round. This is especially important on Halloween, when the door is opening and closing for trick-or-treaters because it’s possible your pet could panic and dash out the front door. Make sure your pet is micro-chipped with up-to-date registration information so you can be reunited with him if he gets lost.
- Keep chocolate away from your dogs and cats. The cocoa in chocolate can be poisonous to dogs and cats. The darker the chocolate, the more deadly it is — and it can be especially hazardous to small dogs. Make sure your kids aren’t stashing their candy in their rooms or places where your pets can get to the candy.
- Chocolate candies aren’t the only hazardous ones to your pets’ health. If pets consume candy whole — including the plastic wrapper — it can cause a dangerous intestinal blockage. Also, Xylitol — which is an artificial sweetener in candies, gum and baked goods — is poisonous to dogs. Raisins are also hazardous and cannot be eaten by dogs or cats. If you suspect your pet has eaten candy, contact your vet or local emergency pet hospital right away. A quick response can save your pet’s life.
- Keep your pet’s comfort in mind when costuming him. Pet costumes are hilarious. We love them. But make sure your thinking of your pet’s comfort and safety first. Look for costumes that don’t obstruct your dog’s vision, breathing or movement. Also, have Fido try out the costume a few days before Halloween — so he’s not startled by the costume on such a hectic day.
Celebrating with your pet? Check out these costumes from Petco for both dogs and cats. The pet store is holding an online photo contest with a grand prize of $25,000. Also, on Oct. 26, Petco stores are holding costume parties for pets. Get up to 8 percent Cash Back at Petco when you buy through ShopAtHome.com.
Read more articles about Petco here.
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