Life as a Vet Tech, Halloween edition:
October 31st is my all-time favorite day of the year, but even a holiday as innocent as Halloween can be fraught with peril for your 4 legged friend, if proper precautions aren’t observed. Below is a quick pet-safety checklist; most you’ve probably heard of before but as I always say (after 14 years in emergency vet medicine): Prevention is always cheaper than treatment!
- Treats can get tricky. Everyone knows that chocolate is a no-go for pets, but did you know that MOST candy can pose a health threat to your pet?
- Costume Aggression. YOU know that having the scariest mask on the block is awesome, but your dog may not be impressed. Don’t forget to consider your pet’s overall temperament when scary costumes come calling (or knocking); what seems like harmless fun can be very frightening to dogs and cats.
- Pets are flammable! Part of this seasons charm is the cinnamon scented EVERYTHING; but don’t forget, the smell of singed hair is not so charming and a wayward tail caught ablaze can pose a major fire risk.
- Keep decorations out of reach; glitter doesn’t digest well, and neither do pumpkin rinds and dried corn on the cob. Keep your visuals in sight and out of mouth.
- Unsupervised costumes. Ok, so I still lose it at the sight of a cat in costume (always funny, no matter the cat), and everyone loves a wiener dog in a classic hot dog suit, but to some pets, the restraints from costumes can be scary (and dangerous). Go ahead, buy the costume, wrestle it on, take the world’s fastest photo, and then take it off for them (unless you have a dog like my mom’s, who gets emotionally traumatized whenever you remove her “such a pretty scarf”). Never allow pets to roam unsupervised while in costume, you don’t want your Yorkie to be arrested for impersonating a police dog, right?
- And finally, above all, secure your pets! Cats and dogs don’t understand the difference between October 31st and any other day, so when strangers begin arriving looking very un-human, it can cause them to panic. Don’t let your favorite holiday be ruined forever because you lost your pet; secure them inside!