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Halloween Hazards

Halloween is right around the corner, and there are a couple of things to keep in mind to keep pets safe this spooky season!

Candy and Chocolate

Candy and chocolate are some of the best parts of Halloween for kids (and kids at heart) but can pose risks for our pets. Many candies and gums use artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, which is toxic to dogs and cats. Xylitol causes a rapid decrease in the animal’s blood sugar and can send them into an emergent state of hypoglycemia, which if not treated, can be deadly. The artificial sweetener can also cause liver damage to our pets.

Chocolate is also toxic to dogs. The most common clinical signs after chocolate ingestion are vomiting, and diarrhea but effects can be as serious as seizures and even death depending on the amount and type of chocolate ingested. Dark and baking chocolates pose the most risk, followed by milk chocolate and white chocolate. Keep an eye out for those mini boxes of raisins as well – raisins (and grapes) are toxic to dogs. Ingestion of these products can result in vomiting and diarrhea, or be as severe as acute renal failure.

To keep your pets safe, keep sweets in sealed containers and in cupboards that your pet cannot access. If your pet does accidentally ingest any candy, chocolate or gum, seek veterinary attention immediately!

Visibility

We know your dog has the cutest costume on the block, so it needs to be shown off by going trick-or-treating! Keep in mind that your dog should be visible to other pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. Having a brightly coloured costume with reflective material should be a top priority! There are also reflective collars, harnesses and light up collars available to ensure your pet can be seen.

Safe and Sound

Sure, the point of Halloween is to be scary, but some sights and sounds of the evening can be overwhelming for our pets and may make them run for the door. Make sure to keep your pet somewhere safe like a spare room or crate for the evening, especially if they have escape artist tendencies. Ensure that your pet’s identification (tags and microchips) information is up to date in case your pet does escape!

Written by Jessica Sirovyak, RAHT

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