Fall is the season of giant leaf piles, pumpkins, bonfires, and Halloween, but with these simple joys come various health hazards for pets. Our animal hospital in Carmel is dedicated to informing pet parents about the potential dangers that exist for our furry friends, because accidents (and emergencies) often happen when we least expect them. Read on for important fall and Halloween pet safety tips, and let us know if you have any concerns or questions!
Keeping Your Pet Safe & Healthy this Fall
Leaves are dropping, and so is the temperature. As the days continue to get colder, remember to:
- Help your pet stay warm. Many dog breeds lack a coat that is thick enough to protect them fully against the elements. Pets can get hypothermia, too. Look into getting a sweater or waterproof jacket in your pet’s size so they can stay cozy and still join you on walks, even if the weather is blustery.
- Keep your pet inside with you on cold, damp days. Let them out to do their business and stretch their legs, but don’t leave them outside for too long.
- Store antifreeze responsibly so your pet can’t reach it, and check around the garage and driveway for antifreeze spills. We know how important it is to prepare our vehicles for winter, but it’s also essential to protect our pets from antifreeze toxicity. Antifreeze smells and tastes sweet, which is attractive to pets. However, ingesting a small amount can be fatal.
- Check around your yard for wild mushrooms. Some are extremely poisonous and can kill not only pets but humans, too.
How to Prevent Halloween Mishaps
- Never leave candy, wrapped or unwrapped, sitting around where your pet can get to it. This includes candy corn, chocolate and chocolate-covered raisins, hard candies, and sugar-free candy and gum. All of these treats are capable of causing illness in pets, and some can be life-threatening. Xylitol, an ingredient found in sugar-free treats, can cause irreparable damage to the liver. Furthermore, hard candies, along with candy wrappers, are choking hazards.
- Avoid decorating with real candles, fake spiderwebs, electric lights, balloons, and candy displays.
- Candles are a fire hazard
- Fake spiderwebs can cause pets to become entangled or be a choking hazard if swallowed
- Electric light cords can cause injury to pets if chewed, and also be a fire hazard
- Popped balloons (especially those with strings attached) are choking and bowel obstruction hazards
- Candy displays/centerpieces can be choking and toxicity hazards
- Don’t keep your pet outside on Halloween night; not only do many pets escape and get lost this time of year, lots of pets, including black cats, also get targeted for cruel pranks. Let them stay inside with you where they’ll be safe and secure.