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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Treat Your Pets to a Safe Halloween

No Boo! Hoos: Treat Your Pets to a Safe Halloween

That parade of kids, adults—and yes, even pets—in funny outfits is due to arrive at your door next week, bringing all the sweet and scary joys of Halloween! But pet parents, as you carve the jack-o-lanterns and fill those bowls of candy, please be aware that your furry friends may stumble upon dangers you hadn’t thought of.

Warns Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice President, ASPCA Animal Health Services, which includes the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, IL, “Many of our favorite Halloween traditions could pose a potential threat to our companion animals. As pet parents start to make plans for trick-or-treating or costumes, they should be aware of Halloween-related products and activities that can be potentially dangerous to pets.”

The following are just a few precautions you should take:

No Chocolate:
Even if your pet has a sweet tooth, ingesting chocolate—especially baker’s and dark chocolate—can be dangerous for dogs and cats, possibly causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and even seizures.

No Sweets for the Sweet: Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures.

Dangerous Décor: Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

Don’t Play with Fire: Keep your pets away from jack-o-lanterns with lit candles inside—knocking the pumpkin over can easily cause a fire. And curious kittens can get burned or singed by candle flames.

Costume Caution: Please don't put your pet in a costume unless you know that he or she loves it. Costumes can cause skin irritations, obstruct a pet’s vision or impede his breathing.

For more information on having a safe Halloween with your pets, please visit our complete list of Halloween Safety Tips. And if your pet accidentally ingests potentially harmful products, immediately consult your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Source: ASCPA

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