Thursday, October 24, 2013

Keeping Your Pets Safe on Halloween - Part 1

On the surface, Halloween is a holiday centered on our kids.  However more and more, it is an evening the entire family (including our pets) participates in and enjoys.

Whether you plan to host/attend a Halloween party or venture out trick-or-treating, the following are some tips to consider to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being.  With thoughtful planning, you and your family can prepare your pet for this most ghoulish night so that all of you have a safe and memorable time.

Sweets, Treats & More
Candy is for people, not for cats and dogs.   Always keep bowls of sweets away from your animals.  This includes foods containing chocolate, especially dark chocolate and chocolate used for baking.  Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is commonly found in sugar-free candies and chewing gum, is also harmful to dogs.  Some popular Halloween plants and vegetables, primarily pumpkins and corn, can present problems if eaten by pets.  While they are not toxic, they can cause tummy upset.

Scary Decorations
Many of us take our pumpkin carving very seriously, creating awesome jack-o-lanterns.  Keep all carved pumpkins with candles burning inside away from your pet’s reach.  This will help avoid accidents that can start as overturned pumpkins and end up as a larger fire.  

Also give thought to the location of any decorations containing wires and electrical cords.  It’s easy for a pet to pull on or trip over an electrical cord and accidentally knock something over.  If your pet has a habit of chewing wires and cords, be especially careful where you plug things into the wall as a pet may accidentally receive a burn or electric shock if they chew into something with a live current.  Glass or plastic decorations also pose a potential hazard as they sometimes contain sharp edges and may break should they fall.  

Check back in a couple of days for more on this topic.  I'll address Haunted Houses and Pet Costumes.

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