Brooklyn veterinarians warn pet owners of Halloween dangers for dogs & cats
NEW YORK – With Halloween quickly approaching, doctors from the Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group (VERG), a 24-hour specialty and emergency veterinary hospital in Brooklyn, are reminding pet owners of potential holiday dangers that can impact their pet’s health.
“Pets face an increased threat of becoming injured or lost during the holiday season. Often times, this is due to disruptions to family routines, an increased prevalence of toxic foods and many other factors,” said Dr. Brett Levitzke, chief medical officer of VERG.
“We encourage pet owners to take the appropriate precautions to keep their pets safe during any Halloween activities and always remain vigilant.”
Things to keep in mind
For pets, one of the most common health hazards for pets leading up to and after Halloween is the increased availability of potentially toxic food items.
- All forms of chocolate, candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol, and discarded wrappers, pose a significant risk to a pet’s health if consumed. Symptoms from ingesting harmful toxins can include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, accelerated breathing or heart rate and even seizures. Pet owners should keep any candy in a confined, elevated location, where it will be out of reach from pets.
- Halloween dangers are not exclusive to toxic candy. Common Halloween activities like handing out candy to trick-or-treaters or hosting a party can overstimulate pets and cause them to become anxious. This combined with an increased foot traffic in and around the home provides an opportunity to escape outdoors and become lost.
- VERG doctors recommend that owners keep their pets in a safe, confined area away from all Halloween activities. Pet owners should also ensure pets are always wearing proper identification and consider having their pet microchipped. This dramatically increases the chances they will be returned if lost.
- Halloween decorations can also be deadly for curious pets. Jack-o-lanterns, candles, fake spider webs and electric cords should all be kept in areas away from household pets for their safety and the safety of others. Small decorations like, fake body parts and toys can also become a choking hazard for pets if left within reach.
- Finally, pet owners should be cautious when considering a Halloween costume for their pet. The personality of each individual pet varies, as does the kind of costume a pet may be willing to tolerate.
- The best advice is to always keep a pet’s temperament and safety in mind while choosing a costume and keep things simple. If a pet appears uneasy or uncomfortable it is best to remove the costume immediately.
VERG is open 24/7 throughout the year and is available to handle pet-related emergencies or trauma. For more information, please visit www.Verg-Brooklyn.com.
Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group (VERG) was formed in 2005 by Dr. Brett Levitzke to provide emergency services and specialty medicine to the Brooklyn community. Open 24-hours, seven-days-a-week, VERG’s team of emergency doctors, specialty doctors, technicians and assistants are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care within a nurturing environment. Their services include, cardiology, critical care, dermatology, emergency care, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, radiology and more. VERG can be reached at 718.522.9400 and is located at 196 4th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11207.