Boo! How To Keep Your Pets Safe & Sane This Halloween

pumpkin-1753120__180Halloween is all about fun for us humans, but it can be a bewildering experience for our furry friends. Between the doorbell ringing repeatedly to strange looking creatures and tempting yet dangerous treats, the holiday does come with some risks and stresses for our cats and dogs. To ensure that your pets stay safe and sane this Halloween, keep these tips in mind:

Cats & Glow Sticks—Who Knew?

Glow sticks are popular items during Halloween, with kids using glowing necklaces, bracelets, and wands to light up costumes. But most people don’t know that cats seem to love to chew on these toys, and the chemical within them tastes very bitter which can result in excessive drooling, lack of appetite, or vomiting. If you think your cat chewed a glow stick, turn off the light and look for evidence of the glowing liquid in your cat’s mouth or fur. Flush the taste out of her mouth by offering a dish of milk or chicken broth, and bath your cat with liquid dish soap to remove any remaining chemical so they don’t ingest it again when grooming.

Dogs & Candy

If your dog manages to snatch one or two chocolate mini-bars, it could still cause distress. Keep in mind that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and darker and more bitter chocolate increases the danger. Sugar-free candy and raisins are also off-limits for dogs, as they may cause liver damage. If you’d like to know more about why these foods are toxic to dogs and what symptoms they may cause, read this blog post. In the meantime, it’s just a good idea to keep your kids’ Halloween stash contained in a candy jar or at least out of reach of dogs’ paws.

“Trick or Treat!”

A repeatedly ringing doorbell followed by the chorus of “Trick or Treat!” can be unnerving to both dogs and cats. All the noise and excitement, not to mention the sight of kids in costumes at the door can be as jarring as fireworks on the Fourth of July. It’s not surprising that Halloween follows right behind Fourth of July for the holiday when most pets get spooked, dart out open doors, and go missing. Make sure your pets have a safe place to escape to in the house, and if you do answer the door with your dog, it’s a good idea to keep him on a leash.

Costume Caution

Sure, it’s fun to dress our dogs and cats up in goofy costumes for Halloween. But watch for signs that your pet might be uncomfortable in a costume, such as growling or angrily meowing, running, and hiding. And don’t leave pets alone in a costume in case they decide to try to take it off themselves and become entangled. When you’re outside, apply the same visibility rules as for kids so that your pet can be easily seen. Using reflective strips on a costume and keeping dogs close by on leashes will make it easier for motorists to avoid them.

Mind The Candles

Carved pumpkins with flickering candles can be tempting and dangerous to curious cats. Besides singeing a nose or paw, candles can start a fire if they’re accidentally knocked over. To be safe, place any candles out of reach of all pets, and don’t leave them unattended. Better yet,  switch to using safer, battery-powered votives.

Have fun this Halloween, and when it’s over you can continue to keep your pets safe by using parasite prevention products for fleas, ticks, and heartworms, and by getting annual wellness exams. By operating convenient hours for non-surgical care, PetWellClinic® is able to offer substantially discounted prices for safe flea, tick, and heartworm preventative products, vaccinations, wellness exams, and treatment of minor conditions. Think of us as a “minute clinic” for your pet—no appointment necessary, with quick in-and-out service.

PetWellClinic® has three locations: 10549 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922; 7329 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919; and 228 S. Calderwood Street, Alcoa,TN 37701. Learn more about how PetWellClinic® can exceed your expectations for affordable, top quality pet care by visiting our website at

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