Halloween Hazards to Howl About...

Posted by Pia

Hello there all you Daily Wag Goblins! It's that fun, yet spooky, time of year when I dress up as the-safety-hazard-police and offer my annual tips on how to have a happy, safe Howl-o-ween...

In Part I of this annual two-part safety lesson, I offered tips for handling Halloween Hazards- all tips begin with an "I" for "I'll keep you safe." The "I" tips offer today in Part II are equally important and are specific to the upcoming eve of Halloween itself! Be sure to read both Parts I and II and keep your fur kids safe!

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1 "Ahoy...Ahoy...How many more times do I have to say it to get a treat?!"

2 "Baaah...Baaah....Black Sheep..."

3 "What costume? I wear this everyday..."

4 "Funny ha ha...I'm a veggie dog... ...so I have a long torso, so what!.. ha ha..."

5 "If you even think of 'watering me,' you will regret it..."

6 "Maybe put on some dance music?...model's need music to work with the camera...or treats...treat could work too..."

7 "Ok so I'm in the grass skirt...when's the Luau?"

I is for Indoors once again!
All companion animals should be kept securely indoors on Halloween. It is important to get animals inside while it is still light and to keep them in for the full night. Cats should definitely be secured indoors a few nights before Halloween.

With doorbells ringing, front doors and gates being opened by sticky little hands and strangers everywhere, it is essential that even the most obedient animals be secured in an area of the house that does not allow them to escape. It is far too tempting and the temptation alone can cause stress. All of the monster faces can also shake a companion animal's sense of security and illicit territorial reactions that are otherwise uncommon for that animal to exhibit. Our furry friends are naturally protective of their homes and they need not be subjected to the added stress of having to protect it or you.

Additionally, even though fireworks are illegal in many places, there is invariably a local 'Dennis the menace' lighting a few off which spooks even the most secure critter to run for cover.

While it may be fun to show a costumed Fido to trick-or-treaters -- it's simply not worth it as he may be spooked to nip or run. It's best to set up a comfy room, or gated area, for the fur kids- even crate them if they are used to this. Play the TV, radio, a white noise machine or better yet, play soothing music- they actually make some that is specifically for relaxing animals. Sometimes adding a scent like lavender in a safe manner (that cannot be ingested) can help calm nerves too.

Make sure cats have access to a clean litter pan and cannot get out of windows. Be sure to safeguard against any fire hazards like candles or electric lights that animals might chew when nervous. Check on them throughout the evening and be sure to leave safe toys or chews that keep them stimulated and distracted. Low light is soothing as well.

I for Ingesting:
This is a biggie. Halloween is full of hidden hazardous temptations. And many of the items an animal might ingest are far more toxic than one might realize.
Helping to avoid a potential ingestion, by not even having these items in the house, is the best bet- and being prepared with information on a local 24-hour emergency veterinarian is key. Time is of the essence if there is an accidental ingestion.

Some Halloween toxins to be aware of:
-Chocolate
-Raisins/Grapes
-Anything with Xylitol, an artificial sweetener in many gums, candies and baked goods, is extremely toxic
-Glow sticks and glow jewelry are very tempting for animals (especially cats) to chew on. They are toxic and unsafe to have around animals.
-Decorations and costumes that have materials like webbing or stockings can be hazardous and cause obstructions if swallowed.
-Candy wrappers are often eaten by companion animals and can cause serious problems.
-Any ingestion of a large amount of sugar can be dangerous to animals.

I know you all love your furry little goblins and want to keep them safe- so please be prepared, stay informed, and share these tips with others.
...Boo!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

P.S. I'll be speaking this Friday at The Barkworld Expo in Atlanta, Ga. Check it out and if you are in the area, come say hello, take part in the festivities and bring the pooches!

Comments (8)

  • Hello Dr. Pia & Professor Minow & Boo to all,
    Thank you as always for your great tips for Halloween. Good to know everything and always a good reminder. I just love the photos of everyone in costume. The Wizard of Oz bunch is a hoot. I'll be thinking of you Dr. Pia this weekend at The Barkworld Expo. Have fun and take lots of photos for us Daily Wag bunch. It is snowing as I write, very bootiful!!! Have a great day all.
    Hugs & smiles,
    Lynn

  • Goos morning everyone,
    I can't stay on long. The computer is needed so I will check back later. Just wanted to give a quick reminder to Cora Belle that thge glue squad email asddress to give your addy to is the last comment on the previous post. hint hint hint hint hint
    Cute costumes. If that doxie has the confidence to wear that carrot outfit with the leaves sticking out of the top of the head, that dog should win. hehehehehehe
    Love to all,
    Maddox

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. Yep it’s that time of the year again. So much to do and not enough time in which to get things done. It’s nice to take the day off and watch for those little ‘goblins’ to come around. That’s one evening I’m not on guard duty. I’ve been taught not to take anything from anyone except my Mommy and Daddy. Still, there is always that temptation to just take it.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hello Dr. Pia and all my glue squad buddies,
    Thanks for the timely reminders to help keep our dog friends safe. Especially that artificial sweetener and glow sticks. Keep those kitties indoors, especially black and solid colored cats.
    Abby once again is snoozing so its time for the persian to strike those keys and comment.
    Cora belle, we loved your post from yesterday! I am so glad you will be hanging out with Rototiller, Samantha and Joe the brave policeman next Wednesday.
    As you know that is All Hallows Eve! Can't wait to hear about everyone's costumes.
    Chanel the lavender point persian sounds quite pretty! Shave downs or lion cuts are popular before the winter, I get brushed out every day and sometimes trimmed.
    Zoe, are you busy chewing magazines today or is it t.p. decorating time? Maddox, you are always up so early in the morning. What will you be doing this weekend while Karen is being presented with the trophies for your accomplishements? Any risky business in store for the glue squad?
    I am still getting ready for halloween, now if these big persian paws can create some crafts. We are leaving our pumpkins whole, no carving here.
    Rebel, how is your fur coat doing? Dudley, do you have a costume? I bet you are very handsome. Purrs to Kitty, my wonder woman cat friend. Abby sends hugs to all her dog amigos, she is dreaming of tacos.
    Happy Thursday all, hugs to Lynn in the snowbelt- James Dean the persian

  • "I Thank You Dr. Pia" for this information and advice! and I just learned something new, having to look into this ingredient Xylitol.
    Those photos are adorable and so imaginative...the little kitty flower, the Black Sheep, the Carrot, they ALL put a smile on my face. :-)
    I dread Halloween for the pets, and hope our Kitty will be inside the house before the 'T or T' starts.

    Please all here have a Safe Halloween. :-)

    Hugs,
    delia & Kitty =^.!.^=

  • Hi Dr. Pia and Minnow, This was a very important blog today about how our parents can take care of all of us on Halloween! I agree with you and I need to be careful not to pick up anything on the ground or in the house! Mom watches me closely and I try to be careful, but sometimes I do grab things and that's not good! These photos are so cute! Have fun in Atlanta! Cora-Belle, I so glad you are doing better and love hearing about your new friends! Will check back later to hear from all of you great buddies! Hope all have a great day! Love Dudley Do Right XOXOXO+

  • ..thanks Dr. Pia for all the tips..I love all the costumes..I don't dress up..but goofy Lucinda says when Samantha and Joe come to the door she will try to put some kind of rodent nose on me..who is she kidding..she'll be out in the yard the instant she sees their car come down the drive-way..James is off getting pellets for the pellet stove and lucinda and I are going to lounge around..can't go down by the river, this time of the year a doggie can get salmon poisoning which can be fatal..Dr. Pia, you should talk about that sometime..a doggie doesn't have to eat fish, or lick it or anything..just drinking the water they are in when they come up river we can pick it up..my vet, Lisa is really busy this time of year..luckily it can be treated with anitbiotics if caught soon enough..!lots of doggie owners don't know about this peril..whew! enough of my lecturing! over and out, love, Cora-Belle

  • Wishing all creatures a safe and Happy Halloween, from the 10 abandoned kitties rescued by a little girl at http://www.GoComics.com/ten-cats ( a free, gentle, online cartoon) to those who haven't been so fortunate and need a loving home....
    May you find the warmth & care we all need....

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