Below are a few tips to help keep your furry family members in one piece this Halloween:
Keep your pets from getting into your Halloween candy stash! Both chocolate and candies (including the wrappers!) can be dangerous for your pets to ingest. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and seizures. Candy containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause vomiting, sudden drops in blood sugar, loss of coordination and seizures. Tricks may be for pets, but keep the treats for the humans only.
2. Safe and Sound Indoors
It is best to keep your pets inside on Halloween. Firecrackers, excessive traffic and large crowds of people may startle your pets. Avoid the danger of having your pet run away and get lost or hit by a car. Many people still find it entertaining to tease, injure and steal pets on Halloween. Unfortunately, black cats are still the main targets of these pranks. Keep your pets safe and sound inside your home for Halloween.
3. Playing With Fire
Be careful with lit candles around your pets. Should they get too close, they could end up burning themselves or knocking the candles over and causing a fire. Make sure electrical cords for Halloween decorations don’t become toys for your pets. Chewing on them can cause life-threatening electrical shock or start house fires. Your pets may not realize that if they play with fire, they will get burned.
4. Check IDs
Before the big night, double and triple check that your pet is wearing their collar with all ID information, just incase they do end up getting spooked and running away. Better yet, having your pet implanted with a microchip provides them with permanent identification that can be scanned at any vet hospital or animal shelter. All pets participating in Halloween activities need to be carrying one or two pieces of valid ID.
5. Comfy and Cozy
If your pets become very stressed with firecrackers, knocking and doorbell ringing they may need to spend Halloween sedated and sleeping in their beds. Speak with your veterinarian about a safe sedative prescription for your pets. A comfy and cozy pet is a happy pet.
**A big thank you to “Jenga” from the Squamish SPCA for being a very cooperative model for our Halloween blog photo shoot!
Do you have a painful pet? Although they can’t talk to us, our pets have other ways of letting us know that something is bothering them. Below are some things you can look at to help recognize sigs of pain in your pets:
Look at your pet’s posture. Do they prefer to lying to sitting or standing? Are they sitting or resting in an abnormal position? Are they shifting frequently while resting?
Check in with your pet’s “talking” habits. Are they crying and whining? Are they quiet when they would normally be happy and barking?
Watch your pet walk. Are they limping? Are they stiff or slow to get going (especially after resting)? Do they have trouble getting up after laying or sitting down? Are they lagging behind on walks? Do they tire a lot faster than usual on walks?
Watch your pet’s breathing. Are they panting excessively? Does each breath come mostly from the pet’s chest or abdomen?
Analyze your pet’s activity level. Are they no longer able to do the things they used to do? Are they reluctant to go for walks or climb stairs? Are they restless? Do they shiver or shake out of nowhere?
Monitor your pet’s responsiveness. Do they cry or bite when you try and handle them? Do they keep themselves withdrawn from situations?
Watch your pet’s eating habits. Has their appetite decreased? Do they not want to eat at all? Do they eat their meal slower than they used to?
Keep an eye on your pet’s grooming habits. Do they look unkempt? Are they licking or chewing excessively in one area?
There are many things we can do to help control or eliminate pain in your pet. After consulting with your veterinarian, they may recommend some anti-inflammatory medication and rest for your pet or they may even request x-rays to further see what is going on inside your pet. Chiropractic medicine and acupuncture are also very common (and extremely helpful!) to have done for your pets.