|Erie Pet Emergency|
429 W. 38th Street, Erie, PA 16508
Holiday Dangers: Halloween
No tricks and no treats!
When the weather turns chilly and the little ghosts and goblins come calling, will you and your pet be ready?
Halloween is a fun time for kids and many adults, but can be a frightening and stressful time for your pets. Learn what to be aware of to protect your pet and stay safe this year!
This is an obvious concern during Halloween. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine. Both of these chemicals can be toxic or even fatal for pets. This is because dogs and cats cannot break down and excrete theobromine as efficiently as we can.
Unsweetened (baker's) chocolate contains 8-10 times the amount of theobromine as milk chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate falls roughly in between the two for theobromine content; so, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to your pet. White chocolate contains theobromine, but in such small amounts that theobromine poisoning is unlikely. Caffeine is present in chocolate, but less than theobromine, so although a concern, it is less likely to be ingested to a toxic level.
If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate (more than the stray chocolate chip that fell on the floor), call your veterinarian for advice. The toxicity of Theobromine is dose dependent. This means that the size of your pet, the type of chocolate, and quantity of chocolate ingested determine if or how toxic it is for your pet.
Signs of chocolate toxicity are most commonly seen within 12 hours (or less) of ingestion and may include:
- Excitement or nervousness
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Excessive thirst and sometimes excessive urination
- Muscle spasms or tremors
Xylitol is a sweetener substitute found in sugar-free gum, candy, and some packaged baked goods. This chemical is highly toxic to pets, causing hypoglycemia, liver failure and eventually death if prompt, appropriate medical treatment is not sought.
Candles & Jack-O'-Lanterns
Within a pet's range, candles and Jack-O'-Lanterns are a fire hazard. Wagging tails and frightened or excited pets racing through the house can easily tip over a candle or carved pumpkin, causing burns or a fire. Curious cats especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames. Fur catches fire easily and pets will run in fear from the flames, sometimes endangering not only themselves, but you and your home, too.
Keep You Pets Indoors
On Halloween night pets, especially black cats, are at risk for cruel treatment by some Halloween pranksters. Many adoption agencies and humane societies will not allow adoption of black cats around Halloween for this reason. Keep your pets safe, bring them inside.
Don't let Halloween become a scary one for your neighbors who come calling. Bites can be a big concern and prevention is the best method to avoid accidents and injuries.When trick-or-treaters come knocking, keep your pet from approaching them. Most dogs and some cats find people in costumes to be scary. Children can move in sudden and strange ways, especially when trying to maintain their coordination in a costume. Pets who are not used to children can take react unfavorably to these situations and may bite. Be sure your pet is current on their vaccines, too; this will help avoid Rabies concerns should a bite occur.
If your pet is allowed near the door when trick-or-treaters arrive, they may become frightened and bolt from your home. Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with a current ID tag. Always be sure your pet is wearing a current identification tag on their collar (a city/county dog license or Rabies tag is no substitution for a proper ID tag with your current address and phone number).