Treat Your Pet with the Tricks of Staying Safe on Halloween!
The scents of fall spices and cinnamon are in the air, pumpkins are being carved, decorations are being hung, and costumes carefully selected. Halloween is fun time of year for families, but can be dangerous for your pets. Here are some tips to keeping your fur-babies safe:
CHOCOLATE - Cocoa is extremely toxic to your canine companions. The general rule is that the darker and more pure the chocolate, the more toxic it is to dogs. All chocolate should be kept out of reach at all times. In mild ingestion cases, dogs may vomit, have diarrhea, excessively pant or drool, and may seem agitated. In cases of severe toxicity, dogs may exhibit all of the previously mentioned symptoms and additionally, may have irregular cardiac rhythms, dangerously high blood pressure, and even experience seizures. If you suspect that your dog has ingested chocolate, you should call your veterinarian immediately.
XYLITOL - Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in sugar- free candy, gum and some peanut butters. If ingested by your dog, it may cause low blood sugar and severe liver damage. Symptoms of xylitol ingestion include weakness, lethargy, vomiting, collapse, jaundice (yellow appearance of the skin, whites of the eyes and gum tissue), black tarry stools, and overall malaise. If you suspect that your dog has ingested something made with xylitol, you should seek immediate medical attention from your veterinarian.
CANDY - In addition to components in candy being toxic, the danger extends to the wrappers. Ingestion of candy wrappers may cause vomiting, straining to defecate, lack of appetite, constipation and potential abdominal obstruction. Keep all candy away from your pets!
RAISINS, GRAPES, CURRANTS - There's always at least one person in the neighborhood who wants to hand out healthy snacks for Halloween! Be on the lookout for these fruits as they are severely toxic to your pet's kidneys. Pets may not present with symptoms until 2-3 days after ingestion when irreversible damage has already been done. Signs of ingestion can include: lack of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain and tension, excessive or decreased thirst and urination.
PET COSTUMES - Everyone loves a pet in a cute costume - we even encourage it with our annual Pet Halloween Costume Photo Contest on Facebook & Instagram - ! However, we also want to make sure your pets stay safe. Never leave your pet in a costume unattended. Some fabrics may cause discomfort or skin irritation. Embellishments like zippers, beads and snaps may be harmful if ingested - especially if they are made of zinc or lead. Also, be aware that you should never wrap anything too tightly on your pet or it may cut off circulation and cause permanent damage. Even though, it's finally starting to get cool outside, always watch for signs of overheating - excessive panting, lethargy, vomiting, collapse. Though we have seen some very interesting dye jobs on some of our patients, please use caution if you're considering coloring you pet's fur. You never know how their skin may react, even to something labeled as pet safe.
INDOOR/OUTDOOR PETS - Keep indoor/outdoor cats and outdoor dogs inside for a few days prior to Halloween and a few days after. Unfortunately, animals, especially black cats, are at risk for falling victim to pranks and cruelty related incidents during Halloween season. Pets may also act unpredictably during Halloween parties or during visits by trick-or-treaters. Keep them away from the front door, crated or behind a baby gate/closed door if necessary, and ensure that their microchip and license information are up to date. If you're interested in microchipping your pet, call us at 504-899-2828. It only takes a few minutes.
If you think your pet is having an emergency, please call Prytania Veterinary Hospital immediately at 504-899-2828. Our address is 4907 Prytania St., New Orleans, LA.