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Posted on 10-21-2011
Most of us think of Halloween as a fun holiday filled with parties, candy, and decorations but for our furry friends it can be frightening and dangerous. However, with a few precautions, any holiday can be made safe.
The two most common concerns for pets are poisoning and injuries. Unfortunately, we will see at least one dog the day after Halloween for one of these (and the emergency hospitals will often see many).
While any kind of candy can cause a stomach upset, chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, and sometimes seizures. Also candy or gum sweetened with Xylitol can be dangerous. Xylitol is a commonly used sugar substitute and if ingested can cause low blood sugar or even liver failure. Knowing the type of candy as well as the quantity ingested will help our doctor's at Eagle Animal Hospital determine the severity as well as the treatment. Most importantly, it is best to avoid this by keeping all treats out of your pet's reach.
Another thing to watch out for is the activity in and out of your home. Many pets can become startled by new people coming into the house, even if the visitors are friends. If they wear masks and costumes, your pets may not recognize them. Pets can run out of the house and get hit by a car or get lost. Also, some pets may display some aggression in the face of fear and can bite. Even the most friendly of pets can display unexpected behavior. Spending the day or evening in a room or crate is often the safest place.
It is fine to place your pet in a costume as long as they will tolerate it. Remember, keep the costumes simple and pet friendly. If you have a dog that tends to eat things, then a hat or bow tie may not be appropriate. Dogs can end up with a stomach or intestinal obstruction when costumes come off or are chewed off and are eaten.
Holidays can be made fun for all of us, if we just remember to plan ahead. Most of our furry friends just want to spend time with us. Keep in mind your pet's personality and everyone will have a safe and happy Halloween.
Harriet Band, Head Receptionist
Serving Exton, Downingtown, Glenmore and all of Chester County
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