Autumn is full of color and full of fun. The October schedule seems to be filled with harvest festivities right up until the very last day, Halloween. Generally a childhood favorite, Halloween is an evening of dressing in fun or scary costumes. But for pets, Halloween is not the “scary fun” that children enjoy – it can be very upsetting for our pets and a real challenge for us as pet owners. There are many pet dangers associated with this “holiday”, including the obvious – Chocolate.
Because their theobromine metabolism process is significantly slower than that of a human, Chocolate is toxic for dogs. Many people just don’t understand how dangerous it can be for their pet. The greater the cocoa content, the greater the danger. For example, Milk Chocolate has less cocoa than Semi-Sweet Chocolate which has less than Dark Chocolate. Cocoa Powder is very concentrated and extremely dangerous to our pets. Two ounces (2 oz) of Milk Chocolate ingestion may not be a toxic dose for a 40 pound dog but two ounces of Cocoa Powder could have a devastating outcome. Keep all candy out of your pet’s reach.
Costumes are another concern. Yes, it’s cute and may be fun to dress our pets but it’s important to realize when cute turns into scary for pets. Costumes cause stress for many dogs and cats so limit the dress-up time unless you are certain your pet isn’t bothered by it. And always be sure to check costumes for parts that could be choking hazards.
Additionally, when decorating, be sure your décor is not pet accessible – especially Jack-O-Lantern and candles. Decorations with a flame could be easily knocked over by our excited or anxious pets.
Finally, during trick-or-treating hours, kennel, contain, or keep pets safe in a separate room to avoid the stress of the excessive activity. This will ease anxiety and keep them from running off, either with or away, from all those ghost and goblins.