Halloween is one of my favorite holidays- what other day I can dress up as wonder woman, hand out candy to children and not get called in by the police? Halloween can also be a fun time to share with your pets and a terrific way for your pet to get extra attention. When selecting a costume for your furry friend, make sure that it will not constrict breathing or movement and inspect the costume to make sure there are no hanging threads or buttons for your dog or cat to chew off. Sadly, not all pets like wearing costumes. For these critters, there are fur dyes that are safe to apply or bandana and collars, which are always fashionable.
While Halloween can be a great holiday to spend with your pets, there are a few things you should be aware of even if your pet does not dress up:
1. Do not let your pet eat chocolate or candies with artificial sweeteners. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can cause irregular and fast heart beats, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and a painful belly ache, called pancreatitis. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is toxic to dogs and will cause low blood sugar levels, seizures, and liver toxicity to your furry friend when digested.
2. Beware of decorations including loose wires, lanterns, and hanging strings. Please monitor your pets to make sure they do not get burned by chewing on wires or knocking over jack-o-lanterns. Cats, especially kittens, may get entranced by string decorations and knock things over as they climb all over your furniture and get a serious obstruction in their intestines after they ingest their string prey.
3. Check on your pet’s posture and behavior. Some animals can be very scared of people when they are in costumes. Others may find a constantly opening door the perfect opportunity to go outside. If you think your pet may be an escape artist or afraid of costumes or hats, please keep them safe in a room away from visiting trick-o-treaters.
From everyone at the Bedford Veterinary Medical Center, we wish you a spooky, but safe Halloween!