Oct 17, 2019
Halloween is a time for people to eat, drink and be scary, but it turn frightening for those responsible for the safety of pets. Two MU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) faculty members offer suggestions on how to overcome the potential risks that chocolates and costumed trick or treaters can create for your household pets.
“The best way to avoid pet injuries at Halloween is to make preparations and take general precautions,” says Elizabeth Easley, DVM, a clinical teacher with the Small Animal and Emergency Critical Care Section. “Keep your pets indoors in a safe spot. Make sure that dogs and cats can’t run out the front door when you open it for kiddie candy seekers. If a pet gets frightened and darts out of the home, it could be hit by a vehicle, which might necessitate coming in for an emergency visit or, potentially, a hospital stay or even surgery. “If you have a pet that is afraid of visitors or people in scary costumes coming to the door, keep the pet in their kennel, or a back bedroom or somewhere safe for them, away from the sound and action,” Easley says. “It may be reassuring to have the TV or some white noise on, and have their favorite bedding so they have some comfort items that make them feel more assured. Don’t leave pets out in the backyard by themselves, where they might get lonely, scared, or accidentally get free. “If you are taking your pet with you as part of trick-or-treating, make sure they stay on a leash and that they have their identification on their collar at all times,” Easley says. “Make sure their license is correct with your current address and phone number, so if they do happen to get lost, it’s easier to get them back. “If you’re putting a costume on your pet, make sure you try it on them well before Halloween night, and that it’s not restrictive for them. It should not restrict their capacity to breathe, see or move,” Easley advises. “Focus on their safety. Some pets get so uneasy, they may even benefit from anti-anxiety medication. With the constant ringing of the doorbell, and unknown guests in costumes, just do some advance thinking about your household pets and things you can do for them following proper safety training. According to Easley, an accident and critical care veterinarian, the problem with the treat bag is not just the candy. “Pets don’t always distinguish between the candy and the wrapper,” Easley says. “A bundle of candy wrappers can potentially cause an obstruction, which can require medical care and treatment, possibly including an emergency operation.” “Don’t leave candy abandoned around your pets,” Easley says. “If you have children, talk to them about not giving candy to their pets. If you want your pet to be able to enjoy the celebration alongside you, or the kids desire their pets to be able to do something to commemorate as well, purchase pet treats first,” Easley says. “They can have something personal that they will like, and it’s something that is not dangerous to them. As always, if pet owners have any issues, they should call their veterinarian for guidance.
Halloween is a time for people to eat, drink and be scary, but it can turn truly frightening for pet owners. Two MU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) faculty members offer tips on how to minimize the trouble that treats, visitors and costumes can bring to pets.
“The best way to avoid pet injuries at Halloween is to make preparations and take general precautions,” says Elizabeth Easley, DVM, a clinical instructor with the Small Animal and Emergency Critical Care Section. “Keep your pets indoors in a safe place. Make sure that dogs and cats can’t dart out the front door when you open it for trick-or-treaters. If a dog gets frightened and runs out of the house, it could be hit by a car, which might necessitate coming in for an emergency visit or, potentially, a hospital stay or even surgery.