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Halloween Hazards

It’s Halloween! There is nothing more fun than dressing up and getting free treats. And your four-legged pal can enjoy it with you too! Just make sure to keep an eye on some things to make sure your Halloween fun won't turn into a nightmare!

  • Chocolate- We all know it can cause dental cavities, obesity and other diseases in humans in excessive amount. But what makes it toxic to our pets? The answer is Methylxanthine! Methylxanthines are a group of chemicals that includes caffeine and theobromine. Both of these are natural components of chocolate. Although it's been said that the toxicity of chocolate depends mainly on the kind of chocolate and the amount, it is safer to just keep their paws off of it. In dogs, caffeine is absorbed rapidly after ingestion while theobromine is absorbed 10 times slower. Initial clinical signs are generally observed within 2–4 h after ingestion and include restlessness, excessive and uncontrollable urination, vomiting, and perhaps diarrhea. ​

  •  Glow sticks and glow- in the dark jewelry- Glowing colorful things are fun for children but, this innocent toy can be harmful to your pets. According to Pet Poison Helpline, over the past year, they have received nearly 80 calls concerning pets that punctured glow sticks or glow jewelry, and 70 percent of the calls involved cats. While not usually life-threatening, their contents can cause pain and irritation in the mouth, as well as profuse drooling and foaming at the mouth.

  • Candles - While it is nice to have a real candle to light up your pumpkins make sure its well out of reach of your pets. Those curious noses and wagging tails might just get too close and burn themselves or cause a fire.

  • Trick or Treaters- As friendly as your best friend might be, the repeated intrusion of strangers in costume might just be too much for your pets. Also, pranksters might tease or injure your pets if they are outdoors. It would be best to keep them in a room or a crate that is far from the door to help reduce their stress. Make sure your pets have ID and collars so in case they escape it will increase the chances of finding your buddy.

  • Xylitol - is a kind of sugar, primarily used as an artificial sweetener in many products, including sugar-free gum, candy, bread, cookies, and other baked goods. It can also be purchased as a granulated powder for cooking and baking. This additive can cause liver failure in very small amounts. Symptoms of ingestion include vomiting, lost of balanced and seizures.

  • Costumes- It's easy to get distracted by how cute our furry pals can be in their costumes, and we forget that this may pose a danger to them. Certain costumes may have small parts like beads or buttons that can become a choking hazard. Also, some costumes may obstruct your pet's vision or may get tangled around their neck or paws resulting in injuries. And just like children, pets always need supervision while they are wearing their costumes so keep an eye on them.

  • Candy bags and wrappers- Ever heard of the term “curiosity kills the cat”? Well, in this case, it can kill your dog too. Ingestion of candy wrappers can cause bowel obstruction and suffocation from candy bag are a real threat to your pets so make sure to dispose of them properly.

Note: If you have further questions about the hazards of certain food and materials please contact your local veterinary clinic.

Resources:​​

  1. Cortinovis, C and Caloni, F (2016). Household Food Items Toxic to Dogs and Cats. Frontiers in Veterinary Vol.3 P. 26

  2. “Halloween Dangers to Cats and Dogs” Retrieved 27 October 2018 from https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/halloween/