When we talk about fall and Halloween pet safety, we’re not trying to scare pet owners into thinking they have to cover their pets in bubble wrap and watch over them every second of the day. What we aim to do is offer some helpful reminders about common seasonal hazards so that Evanston pets can stay as happy and healthy as ever! Our animal hospital has seen its share of health emergencies, as well as more minor but no less important cases in which a pet ingested something toxic or got into a tussle with some decorations. Fortunately, you can prevent such scenarios with the following tips.
Fall Safety Tips
- Make sure your pet is still taking their parasite preventatives as directed—fleas and ticks often hang around until the first frost. Also, keeping up with their preventatives gives your pet maximum protection in preparation for the next resurgence of mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites.
- Is your pet ready to face the cold? Don’t leave them outdoors unattended for more than a few minutes, and consider getting them a sweater or jacket to wear on their daily walk. A fur coat is not always enough to keep your pet as warm as they need to be.
- Most wild mushrooms will not harm your pet, but some can be extremely dangerous. This includes the death cap mushroom and its cousin, the Destroying Angel. These inconspicuous fungi are deadly to humans as well as pets, so check around tree roots and other areas of your yard and remove any wild mushrooms you see. It’s always better to be safe!
Halloween Safety Tips
- It is generally known that candy and other sweets are unsafe for our pets to consume, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about that bag of chocolate on the counter or those sugar-free Halloween-themed cookies cooling off on the stove. Sugar-free gum, candy, and baked goods often contain an ingredient called xylitol, which can be deadly if ingested. In addition to chocolate, grapes/raisins, and every other type of candy you have in the house, make sure they’re kept far out of your pet’s reach. If you think your pet may have nabbed a few pieces, let us know right away.
- Don’t try to frighten your pet or play pranks on them, even if it seems harmless. Avoid wearing scary masks around them too, especially if they become visibly anxious or agitated.
- Do not keep flame candles anywhere your pet can reach them or bump into them. In fact, we’d recommend using artificial candles instead to prevent a fire hazard and possible injury to your pet.
- Does your pet like wearing costumes? Great! Just make sure it doesn’t restrict their breathing or movement in any way. On the other hand, if your pet seems uncomfortable, take the costume off right away. Their comfort and happiness is more important, anyway!
- Do any of your decorations include easily detachable parts that are small enough for your pet to swallow? Place these out of your pet’s reach if possible or forego putting them up altogether in favor of something safer.
- Don’t leave your dog or cat outside; this could put them at risk of being targeted by pranksters. Besides, your pet would probably rather stay inside with you.