As little ghosts and goblins race through the streets of Ventura this Halloween, it is important that we prevent the festivities from spooking our pets. Along with the brisk breezes of fall come new hazards that can haunt your pet’s health. The American Veterinary Medical Association offers the following warnings to protect your pet and enjoy the season.
Halloween Pranks: Don’t leave your pet outside unattended on Halloween (or on the days proceeding or following this holiday). Halloween pranks committed against pets can be vicious, and black cats are particularly at risk.
Monitor Treats: Halloween treats are for people, not pets. Candy wrappers and lollipop sticks can be hazardous if swallowed and chocolate can be poisonous for some types of pets.
Keep pumpkins out of reach of curious noses and paws. Wagging tails and frightened cats zooming through the house can easily tip over a candle or carved pumpkin, causing burns or a fire.
Goblins Beware: Watch your pet around strangers in costumes, especially scary clowns, some animals may become unexpectedly aggressive or fearful, even normally friendly pets.
Costume Safety: Despite how much fun it is for people, many pets don’t enjoy getting dressed up for Halloween. If you do dress your pet, be sure that its costume doesn’t interfere with the pet’s ability to breathe, see, hear, move, or bark. Never leave your pet alone while wearing the costume. And remember, tight elastics on costumes can get lost in the pet’s hair, potentially causing owners to overlook them, leading to swelling and pain in the area of the elastic band. If you feel strongly about your pet wearing a costume, we recommend you begin having them test the costume and tomorrow to allow them a few days to get used to it before fright night.
Consider a soothing alternative to the mischief and mayhem of this fall holiday:
For the holiday-weary pet, consider keeping them in a separate room, away from the door, when trick-or-treaters arrive. Strange people in even stranger clothes can frighten some pets. Draw the shades, play soft music, and install comfy bedding. This will prevent your pet from becoming upset by the constantly ringing doorbell and also eliminates the possibility of escape.
If your pet just cannot get into the Halloween scene, don’t sweat it. Simply shut off your home’s exterior lights, pull the curtains, and settle in for a quiet night together.
When you do answer the door for visitors, make sure that your pet doesn’t suddenly head for the great outdoors. In case your pet does escape, make sure that it is wearing proper identification. Pets with identification are much more likely to be returned to their owners. Microchips provide a safe and effective permanent identification for your pet. If your pet does not have a microchip, ask one of our staff members about this simple procedure today.
Dr Burner and Dr Sama and Staff at Anacapa Animal Hospital wish you a Fun and Safe Halloween!