When we celebrate the holidays, we often want to make our pets a part of the festivities. Halloween is no exception. In fact, for some pet parents the pet’s Halloween costume is as important as their own. However, for all the fun that may come along with this time of year, it’s not always a positive experience for them.
With these reminders from the team at Peterborough West Animal Hospital, we hope it will be a happy and fun Halloween night for both you and your furry friends:
1. Dogs and Cats are not accustomed to the excitement of Halloween.
The doctors at Peterborough West Animal Hospital remind you that the noise and excitement of a party, or even a door opening to reveal a frightening visage, can be just as frightening to a dog or cat as the noise on Canada day (consider taking the same precautions you would for firework safety).
Your pet should have a safe place to escape if he needs to. If you do answer the door with your dog, it’s a good idea to keep him on a leash. This will prevent a fearful dog from unexpectedly darting out the door or even becoming aggressive toward the screaming creature they are confronted with. Cats can be kept in a closed room to prevent them from becoming spooked and escaping through an open door.
2. Sweet treats are harmful for dogs.
We all know that “Trick or Treat” snacks are a big part of Halloween. In the case of dogs, some of the more common treats can be very dangerous. Chocolate, in even relatively small amounts, can be toxic. So can xylitol , a sweetener used to flavor any number of candies. Even raisins (from that one neighbor) can be poisonous. The best approach is to keep your dog from eating any human treats, and make sure the kids know the rule too. As much as the veterinarians at Peterborough West Animal Hospital love to see your pets, we prefer to see them when they are well – not for an unnecessary emergency.
3. Be careful with costumes.
Costumes for pets, especially dogs, are a growing trend, but we at Peterborough West Animal Hospital caution you to watch for any signs that your dog might be uncomfortable in a costume before joining in (growling, running, hiding). The veterinarians want to advise you that if you are going to subject your dog to a costume, remember that the same rules for kids often apply: Make sure the costume is easily seen when your dog is outdoors by using things like reflective strips or glow sticks.
4. Keep your pets away from candles.
One traditional decoration for the evening is candles (either in a pumpkin or on a table). A curious dog or cat can tip over these candles with potentially devastating consequences. The team at Peterborough West Animal Hospital wants to remind you to make sure there are no ways your pets can tip a candle and start a fire or harm themselves.
5. Keep your dogs away from pranks.
In recent years, pranks like “spider dog” have gained a lot of attention. These pranks usually involve using your dog to get a good scare out of friends or even strangers. We want to caution you as this is actually very dangerous, and if the prank is successful it could result in injury to your dog.
Peterborough West Animal Hospital wishes for you to enjoy a very Scary and Safe Halloween