Halloween marks the beginning of “Holiday Goodie Season”. Every October households around the country prepare for a surge of miniature witches, goblins and spooks begging for Halloween treats.
Halloween can be a frightening and potentially dangerous time for pets. You can help your pet get through this haunting holiday by following these suggestions:
Excitable pets should be kept away from the door and out of hearing range of a constantly ringing doorbell. These pets should be put in a room where the noise and activity level is less disturbing. A frightened or upset pet may run out the door at the first opportunity and could bite the children in its way or become lost.
If your pets must stay outside, please make sure they have a collar and tags. Make sure fences and gates are secure. If you have an outdoor cat, especially a black cat, keep it inside or board it at a kennel for the holiday.
Candy and treats should be kept out of the pet’s reach. The sweet aroma from the candy dish is very enticing to animals. These sweets, especially chocolate, are not healthy for pets. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which can be toxic to pets. Chocolate toxicity can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances and even death in pets.
Candy wrappers also cause health problems. In their haste to devour candy, many animals don’t take the time to unwrap it first. Wrapped candy may not dissolve and the wrapper could cause an obstruction in the pets intestine.
Taffy apples and suckers may seem harmless, but a swallowed stick could cause obstruction or perforate the stomach or bowels.
Ah, Thanksgiving! Who doesn’t have fond memories of great holiday feasts – eating until you can’t swallow another morsel and feel as if you are ready to burst is part of the tradition! Sadly, the temptation to share the bounty with the family pet may be overwhelming.
Each year, hundreds of cases of gastroenteritis are seen in veterinary hospitals around the country the day after Thanksgiving. Dogs who are not used to eating table food are often taken ill by the rich holiday fare because their systems are just not prepared for it. Many holiday pleasures are high in fats and carbohydrates and an abundance of these foods can cause severe intestinal upsets.
Bones can become lodged in a pet’s throat or intestine causing a life-threatening blockage. Bones can also perforate the intestines.
Bones and left-overs should never be fed to your pet.
Christmas is another holiday filled with tempting treats of all kinds.
- Avoid keeping candy in dishes that are within easy reach of your pet.
- Do not feed your pet “people” food.
- Avoid the temptation to feed your pet an extra serving of their food. The extra calories will just be stored as fat.
- Avoid giving the pet too many extra treats. Treats are often high in fat and too many can cause diarrhea.
- Small toddlers are easy prey for “cookie-snatching” puppies. Try to keep the pets occupied outside or in another room during snack time to avoid causing tiny toddler tears.