Don’t Let These Common Halloween Hazards Haunt Your Pets


While we humans, goblins, and witches take great delight in Halloween, the evening’s activities often leave our bewildered pets downright spooked. The doorbell rings over and over, and then the open door reveals one creepy looking creature after another. Plus, tempting treats and—oh, help us—pet costumes can add to the risks and stresses for our cats and dogs. But you can keep your pets safe and sane this Halloween with just a few tips in mind:

Keep Them Safe In The Home

Halloween is right up there with the Fourth of July holiday for the number of pets that are reported missing. It’s not uncommon for dogs and cats to become frightened by all the unusual looking visitors and dart out an open door. Particularly if you have a dog that’s prone to anxiety, or one that can become overly protective, it’s best to keep him or her safely contained in a back room or crate. You may want to turn on some calming music or the tv and provide a new chew toy for distraction. In case your pet does manage to escape the house, make sure he or she is wearing an id tag and is microchipped—it can make all the difference in getting your pet back.

Costume Common Sense

We get that it’s fun to dress our dogs and cats up in goofy costumes for Halloween. Just be sure to watch for signs that your pet is uncomfortable in a costume, such as growling or hissing, biting or pawing at the costume, and hiding. Don’t leave pets alone in a costume, and be sure there’s nothing on the costume that they could chew and ingest. If you choose to take your dog outside, apply the same rules you would for kids so that your pet can be easily seen. Use reflective strips on a costume and keep your dogs close by on leashes.

Dogs & Candy

Chocolate, in even relatively small amounts, can be toxic. Sugar-free candy and raisins are also off-limits for dogs, as they may cause liver damage. Keep all candy out of reach, and make sure the kids know the rule too. If your dog does manage to snatch a couple mini chocolate bars, call your vet right away if you notice any symptoms of toxicity such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, agitation or lethargy. And to learn more about foods and substances that are toxic to dogs, read this blog post.

Glow Sticks & Cats

Glow sticks are popular with kids during Halloween, and can often be left lying around after the fun and excitement is over. But most people don’t know that cats seem to love to chew on these toys, and the chemical within them is very bitter and can result in excessive drooling, lack of appetite, or vomiting. If you think your cat chewed a glow stick, turn off the lights and look for evidence of the glowing liquid in your cat’s mouth or fur. Flush the taste out of her mouth with a dish of milk or chicken broth, and bathe your cat with liquid dish soap to remove any remaining chemical so they don’t ingest it again when grooming.

Watch Out For Candles

The flickering candles in carved pumpkins or other decor can be tempting to curious cats. The danger, of course, is that cats can singe their nose or paws, not to mention that knocked over candles can start a fire. To be safe, place any candles out of reach of all pets, and don’t leave them unattended. Better yet, use battery-powered candles and 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 www.petwellclinic.com.


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