Fall is a busy time for Canadians. Back-to-school, Thanksgiving and now Halloween. With an upcoming “break” in November we hope you find some time to regroup.
As the spookiest night of the year approaches, West Hill Animal Clinic staff wants to make sure you have covered all your bases for keeping your furry children in good health over the next few days.
- Keep those paws out of the candy bowl! Many of us know that chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs & cats and something to also be aware of is an artificial sweetener called Xylitol, which can also be poisonous. Keep those bowls up high & out of the reach and never leave them unattended.
- Pet costumes – some pets simply can’t stand being dressed up. Whether it is a sweater for the winter or a full-out ears to paws get up – please do not put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. Make sure the get up isn’t annoying or unsafe and it should not constrict the animal’s movement or regular behaviours. Beware of loose or dangling pieces which can be chewed off or could cause injury. General rule of thumb: if your pet seems distressed, allergic or just overall uncomfortable consider letting them go back to their birthday suit.
- Stranger costumes – the point of Halloween is to be scary. Be prepared for your pets to be unexpectedly fearful and maybe even aggressive. Even normally friendly pets have a tendency to react poorly to the abundance of strangers and spookiness that Halloween 31st festivities can bring.
- Keep your pets inside! It’s a bad idea to leave dogs or cats outdoors on Halloween night. Not only due to the items mentioned in #3, but also something you may not know is the increase in reports of pet poisonings among over cruel pranks on pets, as well as pet thefts. Don’t even make these horrible events an option for ne’er-do-wells.
- Your décor might be hazardous. Popular Halloween plants like pumpkins and decorative gourds & corn are generally non-toxic, however may produce upset stomachs if your pet is to nibble on them. Remember to keep wires and cords from electric lights away from where your cat or dog normally plays, lays, or walks. Perhaps consider using Flameless LED candles to light your Jack-o-Laterns or at minimum be sure to keep any lit candles away from wagging tails or roaming kitties. Candles frequently have been knocked over on Halloween due to frightened animals zooming through a household.
- Consider finding a place for your dog or cat to stay throughout your evening of trick-or-treaters. Either gating them away from the front foyer, setting up a comfy place in the kitchen, encouraging them to stay up or downstairs. This will help prevent stresses, but more importantly ensure that they do not dart outside when you are frequently opening the door.
ID tags are so important always, but with the amount that you are opening & shutting the door for Halloween festivities whether its parties or trick or treaters, there is a high chance of your pet escaping or becoming lost.
A collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver! Significantly increasing the chances that your furry child will be returned to you.