Halloween can be a wonderful time for both kids and the adults! But for pets? The night can become a nightmare. Protect your pets from the stress and dangers tomorrow night with the tips noted below:
- Walk your dog before the trick-or-treating starts. Keep a firm grip on the leash because many dogs are frightened by people in costumes.
- Keep dogs indoors. It’s just not a good idea to leave dogs out in the yard during trick-or treating. Most dogs are likely to bark and howl at the constant flow of treat-or-treaters.
- Find a safe and secure place in your home to keep your dogs, especially if you’re giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Many dogs will try to get loose when they hear the doorbell or when the door opens and the presence of little kids and adults in costumes is scary for many animals, which may result in them running away.
- Make sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date ID tag to ensure that you can be reunited in the event they do run off.
- If your dog has a habit of breaking free from a confined space or someone lets them out, place a dog gate in front of your front door to block access to the kids. Many dogs will run after trick-or-treaters.
- If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, has a fear of loud noises, or a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible and at least a half-hour the before trick-or-treaters arrive.
- You may want to consider crating your pet upstairs, downstairs or in the farthest room from the front door, which can make her feel more secure and reduce the chance of an accidental escapes. Provide chew toys, a favorite blanket, a piece of clothing with your scent on it, etc. Play soft music or a recording of soothing sounds.
- If you feel that your dog is fine to be near the front door to greet the trick-or-treaters, keep him on leash. Some pets will become very stressed by holiday activities and changes in their normal routine. A nervous dog might feel threatened and growl, lunge or bite at the kids and adults at the door, which can damper the fun for everyone.
- All cats should be kept indoors at all times during Halloween night
- Ensure that all candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations or ornaments are put safely out of reach of your pets. If they’re quite curious and tend to gravitate to these items, refrain from decorating with them.
- Some pets are afraid of wearing Halloween costumes. Further, costumes can present safety and health hazards for dogs, so think twice before dressing them up. Ensure that your pet can breathe, see and hear, and that the costume is flame retardant. Remove any small or dangling pieces that may be chewed and swallowed. Avoid rubber bands, as these may cut off your pet’s circulation or, can burrow and cut into their skin.
- If your pet is very high-strung, visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store and speak to one of our Healthy Pet Care Specialists to see what products and supplements can help calm them for the night.
- Keep all pets away from of the candy bowl. Throw away all candy wrappers so that you pets can’t get at them, since the wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction, and make sure that your dog can’t get into the trash. NOTE: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is — and the smaller the lethal dose.
- Explain to everyone in your home, especially your children, just how dangerous treats are to pets. Put your children’s candy out of reach of your pets. Remind your children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor.
- Unfortunately, the sidewalks and grass tend to be littered with pieces of candy or wrappers the day after Halloween. When walking your dog during or after Halloween, be on the look-out for this as this may present a choking hazard for him.
Chocolate can be very harmful for pets. Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical compound called theobromine, which can be fatal for your pets if ingested.
Theobromine is in the same family as caffeine and is a type of stimulant which stimulates the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and causes a slightly increased blood pressure. Pets cannot metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans can which is why it has such dangerous and toxic side effects for them.
Darker chocolate contains higher levels of theobromine which means it`s more poisonous for dogs. Dogs may exhibit the symptoms following within 1 – 4 hours of eating chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) as noted below:
- Hyperactive behaviour
- Increased thirst and urination
- Excessive panting
- Digestive problems
- Difficulty keeping balance
- Muscle spasms, seizures
- Rapid heart rate
Chocolate poisoning can even result in death.
Unsweetened baker’s chocolate contains about 390 milligrams of theobromine per ounce, about ten times more than milk chocolate and more than twice as much as semi-sweet chocolate. White chocolate contains very little theobromine. One ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is potentially lethal.
The real danger lies with dark chocolate. Just 2.25 ounces of baking chocolate could potentially kill a 22-pound dog, while the danger levels for milk chocolate is 20 ounces, and semi-sweet chocolate can be very toxic at 10 ounces. Serious toxic reactions can occur with ingestion of about 100 to 150 milligrams of theobromine per kilogram of body weight.
When a dog shows signs of hyperactivity and agitation or is having seizures, it’s important that you get him or her to the vet quickly. While there is no specific remedy for chocolate poisoning, the vet will induce vomiting. Usually, after that`s done, activated charcoal is given to help prevent the absorption of the remaining toxins. Fluids are typically given along with intravenous drugs to limit seizures and protect their hearts.
Most cats don’t have a sweet tooth and won`t usually eat chocolate on their own but may do so if coaxed. While chocolate isn’t necessarily as lethal for cats as it is for dogs, it should be kept out of reach for them too as it can cause severe health problems.
Keep all candy and sugary foods away from pets. Sugar isn’t good for them either as it can lead to obesity, dental problems and diabetes mellitus. Further, if wrappers are swallowed, your pet risks tearing of the esophagus or intestines.
Treat your pet right this Halloween! You’ll find a variety of yummy pet treats that are safe for your pets at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada. Access our store locator via the Global Pet Foods website noted below:
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!