GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Dr. Kelley Gebhardt from Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic discussed easy ways you can protect your pet this Halloween. Here are a few of her top tips:
Glow sticks and glow jewelry:
- Liquid inside can cause oral irritation.
- Dogs and cats can develop drooling or foaming at the mouth and may act agitated due to the bitter taste.
- Snack packs of raisins and chocolate-covered raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs, and possibly cats.
Xylitol (many sugar-free gums, mints, and candies contain xylitol as a sweetener):
- Causes low blood sugar and even liver failure in dogs.
- The amount of xylitol in products can vary greatly depending on the brand and flavor, so check labels closely.
- The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is due to its higher methylxanthine content.
- Methylxanthines are chemicals related to caffeine and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, increase heart rate and other problems.
- Ingesting part of a costume can cause obstructions in intestines.
- Be on alert if a costume contains metallic beads or other small pieces: if ingested, some metals (especially zinc and lead) can result in serious poisoning.
- Do not dye or apply coloring intended for humans onto your pet’s fur. Even if the dye is labeled non-toxic to people, it could still be harmful to pets.
- Keep candles out of your pet’s reach to prevent accidental burns.
- Use flameless candles.
Other Safety Tips:
- Give your pet a quiet place, such as a kennel or a room to themselves, away from the front door. Strangers dressed up in costumes can be scary and distressing for pets.
- Don’t take your pet trick-or-treating. It is more fun for us than it is for them and they are at increased risk of running off and getting lost.
- In case your pet runs out the door, make sure they are wearing a reflective collar, a current ID tag, and ensure they have an updated microchip.
- If you choose to walk your dog, avoid retractable leashes. Using a sturdy non-retractable leash gives you better control in case your dog gets spooked or tries to bolt.
- Make your dog visible! Add reflective tape to your their collar and leash, and/or attach a blinking light to their collar.