Hi folks, your friend Tuki has come to you from my place in the Potter League. I notice that it feels a little colder these days. As an indoor bird, I don’t care as long as my perch is in the sun!
I’ve heard some staff members talk about how soon Halloween will be and some things pet parents should do to keep their pets safe, so I thought I’d share them with you.
If you live in a neighborhood that is full of trick or treating, Halloween for pets can be stressful as the doorbell rings, the door opens and closes, and kids scream “trick or treat”! It’s best to keep your pets in a separate room while a trick or treat is going on and make sure they wear a collar with identification tags and that their microchip information is up to date in case they decide to run out the door and do a bit of trick or treating yourself! If the weather is nice, sit outside and hand out goodies to avoid the repeated ringing of the doorbell.
If you go out trick or treating, it is best to leave your dog at home. They may look cute in their costume, but other costumes can scare them! If you carry a glow stick with you during a trick or treating, pets will think they’re fun toys once you bring them home, but they can puncture the plastic and soak up the liquid in it. The liquid is non-toxic but has a bitter taste, which will lead to drooling and upset your pet. When they ingest some of the liquid, give them a treat or a little milk to get the taste out of their mouth.
This year, like last year, some communities may not participate in the trick or treating, or families may choose to have a home Halloween party with family and close friends. If you have people walking in and out of your home, it’s still a good idea to keep your pets in a separate room and wear their identification tags so they don’t slip out to find their own Halloween fun! Your pets may also be scared of some people’s costumes and trying to escape those zombies and vampires!
Do not leave your pets in the garden on Halloween to be the victim of jokes or thieves. Black cats are particularly at risk. So if you have a black cat, keep it indoors.
When decorating your house for Halloween, keep candles out of reach or use flameless, battery operated candles – they’re safer and can be just as scary! Of course, keep the batteries away from your pets as they can cause burns if chewed or swallowed. When using fairy lights, keep the wires out of reach – some pets just love to chew on them. Be careful with scented decorations as these can be poisonous to birds. If you have creepy decorations that make noises, have flashing lights, or make sudden movements (like a skeleton jumping out of a closet – oh, I’m scared just thinking about it!) Or keeping your pets away from them is probably one good idea.
Some Halloween and fall decorations can also be toxic to pets. Some, like pumpkins or decorative corn on the cob, can cause an upset stomach if your pets nibble on them, especially if those pumpkins are moldy and rotten. Some types of mold produce toxins that cause neurological problems in pets.
If you want to dress your pet up in a costume for Halloween, make sure you don’t mind. Try the costume on your pet beforehand and if it looks scared or upset, opt for a Halloween scarf or bow tie instead. If your pet doesn’t mind wearing a costume, make sure the costume fits snugly and doesn’t restrict their movements, breathing, eyesight or hearing. It shouldn’t drag on the floor, which can lead to tripping. Also, make sure the costume doesn’t have any small parts that can be chewed off and become a choking hazard.
You want your pet to enjoy Halloween as much as you do, but don’t give them candy intended for humans, especially chocolate. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is toxic to cats and dogs. Sugar-free candies contain xylitol (a sugar substitute), which can cause seizures and liver failure in dogs. If you think your pet has eaten something poisonous, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) right away. If you’re giving away healthier treats as gifts, keep in mind that raisins can cause kidney failure and pumpkin seeds, while non-toxic, can cause stomach upset in some smaller animals.
‘See you next time guys
Your friend Tuki
Send questions to Tuki, PO Box 412, Newport, RI 02840, or email [email protected] The Potter League for Animals can be found at 87 Oliphant Lane in Middletown and online at potterleague.org.