Halloween Safety Tips for Pets
The team at VERG would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy fall and, as such, warn pet owners of the potential dangers looming this Halloween season!
The most common health hazard for pets during Halloween festivities is the ingestion of candy. Candy containing the artificial sweetener xylitol, discarded wrappers and all forms of chocolate pose significant risks to your pet’s well-being if consumed. VERG doctors recommend for pet owners to keep any candy in a confined, elevated location like a pantry. Symptoms of ingesting harmful toxins include: vomiting, diarrhea, accelerated breathing or heart rate, loss of coordination and seizures.
Halloween mishaps are not exclusive to toxic candy. The veterinarians at VERG advise pet parents to keep their pets in a safe area to avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. Constant foot traffic of strangers in costumes can be stressful for certain animals. If a pet is prone to running away, the continuous opening and closing of a door for costumed strangers could significantly increase the risk of a family pet getting outside. Pet owners should confine their pets to a safe, secure area during trick-or-treat hours, as well as ensure their pets are always wearing identification tags and are properly microchipped. A study conducted by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association shows only about 22 percent of lost dogs brought into shelters were reunited with their families while 52 percent of canines brought to shelters with a microchip were returned to their owners.
“At the end of the day, no one knows a pet’s quirks and habits, either good or bad, better than its owners,” says Dr. Brett Levitzke, chief medical officer of VERG. “Think about these habits when decorating or storing candy and if you believe that your pet has consumed candy of any kind, immediately contact your family vet or 24-hour animal hospital. We want everyone to have a safe and fun Halloween, including pets.”
Pet owners should also be aware that Halloween decorations can pose a serious threat. Jack-o-lanterns, candles and electric cords should be kept in areas out of reach of household pets for everyone’s safety.
And remember—VERG is open 24/7, 365 days out of the year to service pet-related emergencies and trauma. For more information, please visit www.verg-brooklyn.com/contact-us/ or call VERG-North at 718.522.9400, located at 196 4th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11207, or VERG at 718.677.6700, located at 2220 Flatbush Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11234.