Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe During Halloween

October is a month full of fall parties filled with candy, costumes, and decorations.  It can be a fun time for all members of the family, including your pets.  However, it is important to keep a few things in mind during this season to keep your pets safe.

1.  Avoid feeding your pet high sugar candy.
High sugar candy, such as candy corns, can affect your pet’s colon in a much different way than humans.  If ingested, it can cause severe gas and diarrhea.
2.  Avoid feeding your pet bite-size hard candy.
Hard candy can be especially appealing to your pet as they usually will enjoy the taste.  However hard candy can easily mix with your pet’s saliva and be inhaled into their trachea and pose a choking hazard.
3.  Avoid putting candy with wrappers in an area your pet can reach.
When your pet decides to try out your candy that has been left out, they usually eat the candy and wrapper together.  In most cases, your pet will be able to pass the wrappers through their GI tract.  However, these wrappers can sometime become lodged in their GI tract and cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction that will require surgery to remove the obstruction. Signs that your pet may have a bowel obstruction include vomiting, not defecating or straining to defecate, decreased appetite and lethargy.
4.  Avoid feeding your dog chocolate and raisins.

Of all candies, dogs tend to be more attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate and it’s the most dangerous.  The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more poisonous it is to your pet.  Chocolate consumption can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.  Raisins or grapes are very poisonous to your cat or dog.  They should be treated as a poisoning case and you need to call your veterinarian immediately.

5.  Avoid certain pet costumes.

Dressing you and your pet in costume can always be fun.  When choosing a costume for your pet, make sure it does not have any items that can be pulled off by your pet and cause a choking hazard.  Choose costumes that will all not impair your pets vision or air intake as well.  Also, do not attempt to dye your pet’s hair.  Non-toxic hair dye to humans can still be toxic to your pet.

6.  Keep glow sticks out of the reach of cats.  

Glow sticks are especially appealing to cats.  They are attracted to the light and will tend to bite on them until the contents spill out.  The contents can cause increased drooling and foaming in the mouth.  It is usually not life threatening, but your pet will most likely experience pain and irritation in their mouth.

Symptoms sometimes will not show up for 2-4 days after your pet has ingested something potentially harmful.  If you suspect your pet may have ingested something harmful, please call Pet Xpert Animal Clinic immediately at 407-886-PETS(7387).

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