Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents on Halloween

Brightly Green & Joshua, the Maltese pictured here, would like to share with you what pet lovers need to be aware of during Halloween!

Article Courtsey of: 

The American Society of the Provention of Cruelty to Animals 

and also:

St. Matthews Animal Clinic
111-R Fairfax Avenue
Louisville,  KY  40207
(502) 895-8100
(502) 893-0450 Fax

Attention, animal lovers, it's almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet safe.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick or treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms-especially dark or baking chocolate-can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call St. Matthews Animal Clinic at 502-895-8100 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. 

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively non-toxic, but can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it (yes, a few pets are real hams). For pets who prefer their "birthday suits", wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go "au naturale" or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet's costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your cat or dog has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

& Deborah Ackerson, Practice Manager of St. Matthews Animal Clinic
 for this helpful article to keep ours pets safe during Halloween!

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