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It's Almost Halloween!

Posted: Sep 24 2014

Hurray,summer's over and it's that time of year when we look forward to all kinds of fall activities! With Halloween right around the corner, trick-or-treating is just the tip of the iceberg! It's also time to start thinking about what to wear for all those great costume parties, to begin the search for the perfect pumpkin to carve into the best jack-o'-lantern on the block, not to mention apple bobbing (always a favorite of ours!) Then there are the scary stories to tell, haunted houses to visit, and all those great horror movies that appear on our TV screen at this time of year. And don't forget the food - apples, colcannon, potato pancakes - yum...yes, Halloween can be a really festive, fun time for families, but what about our pets?

Keeping our furry friends safe....

We thought it would be timely to think about how all this fun stuff might affect our four-legged family members. Halloween can be a dangerous time for them so we really need to think about their safety as we enjoy the festivities.

Firstly,  it's definitely a good idea to make sure our pets are safe and sound, confined in the house as all those ghosts and goblins come to call. Pets left out in the yard on Halloween could be teased, hurt or even stolen. Since your front door is bound to be opening and closing with strange visitors in weird costumes coming and going, it's a good idea to make sure that the family pets are safely hidden away so as not to be upset by the commotion. Dogs in particular, could become anxious and growl or bark at unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. And, if the unthinkable happens and your dog or cat manages to "escape", hopefully you will have ensured that he has proper identification with a collar, tags and a microchip, so he won't be missing for too long.

Then, there's all that trick-or-treat candy...wonderful for us, but it's important to remember that chocolate is extremely dangerous for dogs and cats so we must make sure that all those goodies are kept out of reach. If your pet does ingest chocolate, symptoms you might see include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, an increased heart rate or seizures. Also, even small amounts of xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can cause dangerous health problems for dogs. Remember it's better to be safe than sorry! If you do suspect your pet has eaten something he shouldn't, call your veterinarian immediately.

Pumpkins and decorative corn are such a big part of the night, but don't forget that although they're not toxic to pets, they can cause problems if your pet nibbles too much of them. Also, be extremely cautious if you must add a candle to a carved pumpkin. We all know how curious our pets can be and it would be so easy for them to knock the display over or singe their whiskers trying to find out what the big orange thing is.

This is also the time of year when we bring out the electric lights and other decorations to adorn our homes, so be sure to keep wires and cords away from pets to avoid cuts, burns, or even electric shock.

To dress or not to dress....

To dress or not to dress your pet, that is the question! Lots of dogs do seem to love dressing up, but pay close attention to your pet's body language and don't stress a pet who obviously doesn't like the idea. If you do dress up your pet, be sure to make safety a priority. The costume shouldn't restrict the animal's movement or hearing, make it hard to breathe, bark or meow and remember, a great festive bandana or new collar and leash can be just as festive.

Happy Halloween!





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