Bring on the Treats, Tricks, and Fun! How Does This Affect Our Pets?
Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year, but it comes to a lot of dangers and stress for our pets. It’s important to remember that chocolates, candies, and other sweets are not for our furry friends and should not be left out where they can be reached or around children who may want to share. If it does happen, symptoms of chocolate toxicity may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures.
Other candies that contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol can also be very poisonous to dogs and cause a drop in blood sugar leading to loss of coordination and seizures. Large ingestions of sugary candies and sweets may also lead to pancreatitis – signs of this may not appear for several days after initial ingestion. Signs to watch for are a decrease in appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Even raisins, a healthy option for trick or treaters, are highly toxic and can cause a rapid onset of kidney failure. Signs of raisin toxicity include vomiting, which often contains whole or partially digested raisins, decreased appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, and an increase or decrease of thirst and urination.
Unfortunately, it is not just Halloween treats that owners should be aware of. As adorable as our pets can be dressed up along with us, it’s important that your pet is comfortable and not restricted in any way. Be aware of snaps, beads, Velcro, buttons, strings, bows, and batteries. Even material in general for those dogs that love to chew can cause complications so be sure to keep an eye on your pet if you are planning on dressing them up this Halloween! If you find missing pieces keep an eye out for vomiting, gagging, a painful abdomen, lack of appetite, lethargy, and changes in bowels (diarrhea or constipation). If you see any of these signs, it is best to call your vet immediately.
Lastly, Halloween can be a very stressful time for your pets. Fireworks, firecrackers, knocking, doorbells, and strangers in the streets and at their door in unfamiliar and scary costumes can all cause fear and anxiety for your pets. Keep your furry friends inside in a safe place, whether that’s by your side or in a room of their own away from the noise and commotion. Have them on a leash or supervised while outside and be sure to have their ID tags lest there are any escapees!
Written by: Waterview Animal Hospital