10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

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Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families, but may be stressful for pets. Here are 10 ways to keep your pets safe from PetMD:

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.

All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures.

2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.

Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. Make sure your black cats are safely housed indoors around Halloween.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.

Indoors is certainly better than outdoors on Halloween, but your door will be constantly opening and closing, and strangers will be on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. This, of course, can be scary for our furry friends, which can result in escape attempts or unexpected aggression. Putting your dog or cat in a secure crate or room away from the front door will reduce stress and prevent them from darting outside into the night…a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep glow sticks away from pets.

While glow sticks can help keep people safe on Halloween night, they can add some unwanted drama to the holiday if a pet chews one open. Pets who get into a glow stick may drool, paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit.

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.

While small amounts of corn and pumpkin can be fed safely to many pets, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy Halloween pumpkins or corn displays can cause big problems. Gastrointestinal upset is a possibility whenever pets eat something they aren’t used to, and intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed.

6. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.

If you are using candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween decorations, make sure to place them well out of reach of your pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire.

7. Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach.

Electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations are certainly safer than open candles, but they still can present a risk to pets. Pets who chew on electrical cords can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock or burn. Batteries may cause chemical burns when chewed open or gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed. Shards of glass or plastic can cause lacerations anywhere on the body or, if swallowed, within the gastrointestinal tract.

8. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.

If you do decide that your pet needs a costume, make sure it isn’t dangerous or simply annoying to your pet. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. Coates warns that pets who are wearing a costume should always be supervised by a responsible adult so that if something goes wrong, it can be addressed right away.

 9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.

Don’t wait until Halloween night to put your pet in a costume for the first time. Get your pet costumes early, and put them on for short periods of time (and piece by piece, if possible). If at any time, your pet seems distressed or develops skin problems from contact with a costume, consider letting him go without a costume, although a festive bandana may be a good compromise.

10. IDs, please!

If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that he or she will be returned. Collars and tags are ideal if a Good Samaritan is able to collect your wayward pet, but microchips offer permanent identification should the collar or tag fall off. Just make sure the information is up-to-date. Use Halloween as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports pet microchips.

As a pet-friendly office, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, wants your pets to remain safe this Halloween!  Located in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St., stop by our office or contact us for all of your real estate needs at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.  We proudly serve Anacortes, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties.

July 4th Safety for Pets

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Prepare to keep your pets safe in advance! Fireworks are both frightening and dangerous to animals, often causing them to run away in fear. Here are some tips to keep them safe:

  • Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information.
  • If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
  • If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
  • Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animal and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.
  • Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers, etc. away from curious pets.
  • Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  • Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
  • After the celebrations, check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.

For additional information, CLICK HERE to visit the American Veterinary Medical Foundation website online.