5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips
The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, and Halloween is just weeks away. While this is a day that many kids look forward to, it can be a dangerous time for your pet if you’re not prepared. Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa wants to make this Halloween a safe, fun holiday for your furry friends, which is why we recommend the following five safety tips. And remember, if your pet is ever in need of emergency care, our doctors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Make Sure Your Pet Has Identification
Sadly, Halloween is a time when many pets go missing, either because they’re left outside or because they escape from an open door in pursuit of costumed trick-or-treaters. This is why it’s so important to make sure your pet has sufficient identification. At the very least, we recommend an ID tag with all of your contact information on it. A microchip is another option. This permanent form of identification is a tiny device that can be scanned by most animal hospitals and shelters. Microchips are typically placed just beneath the surface of the skin near the shoulder blades. Speak with your family veterinarian to determine if microchipping is an available service for your pet.
Don’t Feed Your Pet Candy
Although you or your children may be tempted to share some of that Halloween candy with your canine or feline companion, keep in mind that chocolate is actually toxic to pets if ingested—especially dark chocolate. The more chocolate that’s consumed, the greater the risk of toxicity. Some of the initial symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting and diarrhea, but if a larger amount is consumed, the symptoms can be far worse. Even some candies are toxic if they contain the sugar substitute xylitol, which can result in a rapid drop in blood sugar in pets. Consider purchasing some new dog or cat treats for your pet so he/she can enjoy his/her OWN Halloween treats…without getting sick.
- Keep Your Pet Indoors
You may have read or heard about the stories of cruel pranksters who steal black cats or other pets from yards on or near Halloween. To keep your pet safe from these pranksters, limit their time outdoors—especially at night—in the days before and after Halloween. Also keep in mind that some pets tend to get spooked by all the trick-or-treaters walking through the neighborhood in Tulsa, which is another reason it’s best to keep your four-legged friend inside, where they can be safe.
- Keep Your Pet Away From the Front Door
While inside your home is usually safer for a pet on Halloween than out in your yard, you should still take some precautionary steps. Every time your doorbell rings is an invitation for your pet to come running to greet the person on the other side of the door, but if that person is a small child who’s afraid of animals, you probably wouldn’t want your pet to go near the door. If they’re not trained, some pets might even attempt to slip through the open door. So for the safety of your pet and the trick-or-treaters, it’s best to block your pet’s access to the front door, either with a gate or simply by leaving him/her in a closed room.
- Use Caution If Dressing Your Pet
It seems like every year, there are more and more adorable or humorous costumes available for pets, so it can be hard to resist the urge to dress up your own pet. While some costumes are harmless and even comforting for pets, others are poorly made and can cause your pet to become uneasy. If you’ll be dressing your pet up this Halloween, make sure the costume fits well (not too tight or loose) and that there aren’t any parts (needles, sharp ends, etc.) that can potentially harm your pet. Also look out for any loose or dangling pieces that can be easily chewed off and pose a choking hazard or intestinal obstruction. This is especially important for cats.
Remember, Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all pet emergencies. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (918) 665-0508 if you have any questions or if you need to bring your pet in.