Autumn has come upon us with the falling leaves, crisp morning air, and of course, Halloween. There are many people that dress up not only their children, but their pets as well. While your dog may enjoy trick-or-treating through the neighborhood with you, it is important to remember some basic safety tips.
First, consider the personality of your pet. He may be quite friendly normally, but small children dressed up in hooded and caped costumes with masks and makeup may frighten some pets. They also may want to pet your pooch so be confident that he will not stressed by all the handling.
If you are staying home to answer the door, also consider how this will affect your pet. If your dog barks like crazy with each ring of the doorbell, you and he will be exhausted by the end of the night. You may want to keep him in a room far from the door and maybe turn on a radio to distract him. You could also sit outside so your bell doesn’t have to ring at all. If you have a cat that likes to escape, you may want to keep her confined to a room also. Even if she is used to going outside, all the little goblins out there may frighten her.
Of course, the biggest part of Halloween is the candy. Dogs may enjoy eating the Halloween treats as much as your children, but while they may just give your kids a sugar rush, some treats can be downright dangerous to your dog. Most people know that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. It contains a compound known as theobromine that affects the heart in particular. It can cause an accelerated heart rate, arrhythmia and in severe cases, even death. Dogs with chocolate poisoning are often restless, panting and may vomit. The most toxic chocolate is baking chocolate because it is the most concentrated. After that is dark, milk and then white. Small amounts (like a couple of those Halloween-sized chocolate bars), is not a problem, but dogs do have a sweet tooth, so make sure the candy is put up out of reach when you are not looking because a whole bag can be dangerous. If you think your dog got into a large amount of chocolate, please call us immediately.
Another food that is toxic is something that many people do not realize is a problem – raisins (and grapes). I know that your kids probably know the houses of the people that give out raisins to the Trick-or-Treaters (they run by those as quickly as by the dentist that gives out little toothbrushes and toothpaste), but some raisins usually end up in the bag, anyway. They can actually cause kidney failure and can even be fatal in extreme cases. You do not have to be concerned if your pet eats a couple that fall on the floor, but if he gets into a bunch and starts vomiting, call us immediately.
We hope you all have a fun time on Halloween and the upcoming holiday season this year.