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Pet Owners Beware! Dangers Loom for Pets on Halloween

BOSTON, Oct. 26, 2022 – With more than 100,000 animals treated each year, the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center is one of the busiest 24-7 emergency and specialty veterinary hospitals in the world—and veterinarians at the distinguished animal hospital are highlighting the unique dangers that pet owners need to watch out for as Halloween approaches.

Sweet Treats for People, Not Pets!

The best part of Halloween for many – the candy – is actually the biggest threat to pets, according to Dr. Susan O’Bell of Angell Animal Medical Center’s primary care service.

“Chocolates and other sweets can be harmful to a pet’s stomach,” she explained. “Pets deserve to enjoy the holiday with us, but instead of sharing candy or other sweet treats, consider getting specially-made treats for pets. And, make sure to store candy in places that pets, especially dogs, can’t get to it.”

But, accidents happen.

“If your pet does eat candy, contact your veterinarian or poison control,” O’Bell added. “Depending on what your pet ate and how much of it, they may recommend monitoring at home, but it could be more serious as many sweets, such as chocolate, are toxic for dogs. So, it’s important to act fast.”

Door Dashes, Costume Fails, and Other Threats  

While keeping pets from eating candy is somewhat known, there are other Halloween-related dangers that owners are less aware of, says O’Bell.

“Most pet parents know that some holidays, like the 4th of July, can be stressful or dangerous to pets, but many don’t know that precautions should also be taken around Halloween,” explained O’Bell. “From pets sneaking out of homes to pets accidentally eating candy, there’s a wide swath of possible dangers that pet owners should prepare for,” she said.

Dr. O’Bell offers this advice to pet parents for Halloween:

  • Pet costumes: If you choose to dress your pet up this Halloween, make sure the costumes don’t restrict breathing or vision. Also, be sure that they can’t get tangled in furniture or other objects.
  • Remember outdoor pets: If you have rabbits or other pets that live outside, leave an outdoor light on to keep their area illuminated and check on them throughout Halloween night.
  • Watch the door: It’s easy for pets to slip outside unnoticed when owners open the door for trick or treaters. Consider using a baby gate to keep pets indoors or put your pet in a safe area of the home that they can’t escape from.
  • Halloween frights: People in costume can be frightening for pets, so it’s important for owners to help them become familiar with the new looks prior to wearing them. Lay out costumes well in advance of Halloween, giving dogs and cats the opportunity to see and smell them.

Anyone interested in more Halloween safety tips from Angell Animal Medical Center is encouraged to visit this website.