PET FRIENDLY: Halloween Can Be Scary for Pets

| October 27, 2015 | 0 Comments | News
artemispetfriendlylogoHalloween can be a fun time for humans but for pets it can be very scary.
“Loud noises and scary costumes can be overwhelming and create anxiety leading to behavior issues in both dogs and cats,” Dr. Melanie Galanis, Medical Director of Artemis Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Services said. “Urinating in the house, pacing, hiding, aggression and changes in appetite are some of the behaviors that may occur.”

Furthermore, Galanis warned that costumes can make people smell and look different even if it is someone your pet knows very well.

“Your pet may act out creating a situation for both your pet and the people around them that can quickly escalate into a dangerous one. Costumes (human and animal) can be very frightening your pet.” she said.
She says not all pets will tolerate owners dressing up and asks residents to consider:
  • Does the costume make noises?
  • Does it have strange smells?
  • Is the pet used to the owner wearing something on his or her head?
  • Are you covering your face?

“If you wish to put a costume on your pet gradually introducing it to your pet over time will reduce some of the anxiety,” she advises.

Also, Halloween is a prime time for pets to get lost or run away.
“Opening and closing the door for the many trick or treaters can create an opportunity for a pet to make a hasty getaway; be sure your pets are wearing proper identification if you aren’t able to keep them in a secure area,” she said. “If your pet escapes, notify others in the area and let them know your pet may be frightened. Bring their favorite treat or toy and go costume free while searching.”

Of course, an ever present concern is also the candy. It’s well know the detrimental effects of candy, especially chocolate can have on pets if ingested.

” Chocolate, chewing gum with xylitol and alcohol can be highly toxic when ingested. Raisins, often found in trail mixes, some candies and given out as a healthy alternative to sweets, can be highly toxic for your pet,” she said.  “Any ingestion of the above items requires you to seek medical attention for your pet as soon as possible.”

Furthermore, eating candy wrappers (and even plastic Halloween decorations) can cause them to bunch up and create an obstruction in the stomach or intestines. This is also true for potpourri, which when ingested, can cause irritation to the stomach and mouth.

Glow sticks and glow jewelry, although not usually life threatening, can rupture and cause mouth pain and irritations, profuse drooling and foaming from the mouth. Cats, curious by nature, are most at risk for ingesting and chewing on these bright, fun toys.

Be careful decorating with candles,  which can be bumped into or knocked over causing burns or even a fire.

“Lastly, keep your black cats indoors,” she said. “Black cats may be part of Halloween urban legend but they are often target at this time of the year by those that are superstitious, so it is better to be safe than sorry and keep them at home and inside.”

Artemis Veterinary Emergency Hospital  is specifically designed and equipped to provide highest quality critical care for pets. Their staff is well-trained in emergency procedures. Whether a minor or major medical problem, we will provide pets with the best possible care. Artemis VESS is open 24/7 and never closes.

© 2015, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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