While Halloween can be a howling good time for family members of all ages, it can be downright dangerous for pets – from toxic Halloween candy to pet costumes turned choking hazards. Sink your fangs into this scary stat from Petplan pet insurance: During Halloween week, pets are 84% more likely to visit the vet for raisin poisoning and 26% more likely to visit for chocolate poisoning.
Below are great tips from Petplan veterinarians for keeping pets safe this Halloween.
Afraid of the Dark (Chocolate): Chocolate poses a whole pillowcase-full of problems for pets. While all chocolate is toxic to pets, dark chocolates are the most dangerous containing a higher concentration of toxins like theobromine and caffeine, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting and increased heart rate and blood pressure. It can even be fatal depending on the amount ingested. Milk chocolate has higher fat content which can trigger conditions like pancreatitis. The risk of chocolate toxicity during Halloween spikes 26% higher than at other times of the year. Be sure to keep the candy haul out of paws reach!
Raisin’ Hell: Some pet parents prefer to hand out raisins to trick-or-treaters instead of sugary sweets. While healthier for children, raisins are terribly toxic to pets – especially dogs. Even in small doses, raisin consumption can cause kidney failure. The risk of raisin toxicity is 84% higher during Halloween than at other times of the year. Be sure that any raisins are out of reach from pets.
Ghastly Get-Ups: According to the National Retail Federation, 16.2% of pet parents will dress up Fido or Fluffy this year. Be certain pets are able to breathe and move freely in their costumes and choose an outfit that doesn’t have extra pieces like legs, hats or pompoms, as dogs often mistake these choking hazards for chew toys. Remember, too, that pets can become overheated and dehydrated in their disguises, even in cooler weather.
When Witches Come Calling: If you’re expecting lots of ghosts and goblins to ring your doorbell, make sure your pet isn’t tempted to dash out the door. Consider setting up a room with water, food, toys and a comfy bed where your pet can stay safe and sound.
Wrappers of Fright: Foil, cardboard and paper wrapping can cause just as much mischief as the candy inside! If a pet snacks on wrappers, they can become stuck in his guts, causing an obstruction that often requires surgery to remove. After bingeing on bonbons, be sure to toss trash in a lidded can well away from sniffing snouts.