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Top five ways to keep pets safe on Halloween

It’s OK for Halloween to be scary, but no one wants the frightening experience of suddenly realizing your pet has become seriously ill. So veterinarians at BluePearl Veterinary Partners have put together this list of five top ways to keep dogs and cats safe on Halloween.

“The most common Halloween emergency we see is dogs who have consumed chocolate and other sweets,” said Dr. Miryam Reems, a BluePearl veterinarian who is board-certified in emergency and critical care.

“Another common danger is that dogs and cats frequently slip out of the house, with so many people coming in and out the front door on Halloween. Outside they could be hit by a car or get lost,” Reems added.

Keep your pets safe with these five tips:

  1. Hide the candy. Sounds obvious, but every year BluePearl veterinarians treat dozens of dogs and cats who have scarfed down sweets, especially chocolates. This can cause pancreatitis, or even intestinal blockages (because dogs are not skilled at unwrapping candy.) Also, chocolate is toxic to dogs. Never let your kids leave trick-or-treat bags on bedroom floors.
  2. Keep pets away from the door. People don’t think of this one, but dogs and cats can get lost for days — or hit by cars — if they slip out. And depending on your neighborhood, that door could open dozens of times for trick-or-treaters.
  3. Microchip your pet. Even if you take precautions, pets do tend to slip out during times of hustle and bustle. A microchip is one of the best ways to make sure a lost pet will be found. Talk to your primary care veterinarian. Does your pet already have a microchip? Make sure the information is updated once a year.
  4. Go minimal on pet costumes. Your pet will like a costume mostly because your pet likes spending time with you.  Your pet may also swallow buttons or frantically claw through any get-up that feels too tight. So keep costumes loose-fitting and simple.
  5. Throw away glow-sticks. Lots of kids wear them for trick-or-treating, but they are quickly forgotten once everyone gets home. Cats tend to love them, even though they can be toxic. Make sure your pets can’t get into the glow sticks.