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Halloween can be a night of great fun for children and adults alike, but it can also be a very stressful night for our furry friends.
The irregular door bell ringing that comes with laughing and loud trick-or-treaters is exciting for us, but can be interpreted as threatening for dogs and cats. The buckets of candy that provide us with a little treat (especially the most delicious of all - Reese’s peanut butter cups) can cause serious gastrointestinal and cardiac issues in dogs.
On the most goulish, candy-filled night of the year there are some steps we can take to make sure our pets are not too spooked.
Who doesn’t love too see a pug dressed as Michael Phelps? Or a cat wearing a tuxedo? While putting dressed pets may provide us with Facebook and Instagram karma, it’s not always rewarding for those in costume.
Consider some of the following before adding a costumed pet to your Snapchat story.
- Costumes can be confining and uncomfortable for dogs and cats that typically only wear a collar or harness.
- Costumes can be anxiety inducing, especially in combination with frequent door bell rings and an unusually high number of people coming to your pet’s home.
- Costumes for pets, especially home-made ones, often include pieces that can easily be chewed, eaten, and swallowed by your pet. This ingestion can lead to GI upset like vomiting and diarrhea and even result in intestinal obstructions that can require surgery to correct.
- Avoid masks that can restrict vision or local irritation, especially around the eyes.
Ding-dong. TRICK OR TREAT!
As the Darth Vaders, princesses, ghosts, and dinosaurs stand at your door with buckets of candy outstretched, your pet will have ample opportunity to make a break for it and be on the loose in the neighborhood (possibly to go trick or treating?).
- Ensure your pet does not have the opportunity to get loose. If they are comfortable in a crate this is a great time to have them in their crate. If crating is not an option, consider keeping in a closed, pet-friendly room.
- Consider bringing your outdoor dogs and cats in the house for the evening.
- Consult with your veterinarian about the possibility of using a sedative for your pet to keep them calm and safe throughout the night’s activities.
- If your dog will be joining the family while Trick or Treating please ensure they are adequately restrained in a properly fitting collar, harness, and leash. Consider reflective wear for your dog to ensure maximum visibility.
Treats playing tricks
The big bowl on the table and the pillowcase bursting at the seams with candy can be just as tempting to our dogs and cats as they are to us. Eating candy can result in toxicities and poisoning in our pets. Often times ingestion of even a small volume of candy can result in vomiting and diarrhea. Even eating a very small volume of chocolate or candy containing xylitol can cause very serious, life-threatening issues in our animals.
- Keep the candy supply out of reach of your pets.
- Please do not give candy to your pet as a treat!
- If your pet gets into the candy please consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- ASPCA Animal poison control is available by phone (888-426-4435) 24 hours a day. Many times veterinarians will encourage contacting them prior to an appointment. The vets on staff with poison control will consult with your veterinarian to determine the best treatment, if any, after your dog or cat binges on the candy supply.