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Steckelberg Vet Clinic Blog

Have a Not-So-Scary October

2020-10-12

2020 has been scary enough, so there’s no need for any extra worries this year. To help keep your pets safe this October, we’re offering you our top tricks to keeping the treat in this sweet month.

1. Chocolate, Raisins, and Xylitol

When it comes to trick-or-treating goodies, keep them out of paw’s reach. You likely know that chocolate is poisonous to pups, but did you know that raisins and xylitol, a sugar substitute, are too? It’s true.

What else should every pup parent know about these not-so-sweet treats? There’s no way to predict how sensitive a dog will be to grapes and raisins. Some become extremely ill by eating just a couple of small berries, while others don’t react to them at all. If your neighbors insist on giving out those tiny boxes of raisins, don’t risk having them raided by your dog: raisin poisoning can cause liver failure.

Xylitol is a sweetener typically found in gum and gummies. It’s highly toxic to dogs and can cause them to become very ill, very fast. If a canine consumes this sugar replacement, it can cause permanent organ damage and even be fatal.

What about chocolate? The darker, the more dangerous, but any amount of chocolate can be too hazardous for dogs to eat.

What should you do if your dog eats any of these substances? Give us a call immediately.

2. Keep Your Pets Away from the Door

Why shouldn’t your pets crowd the door as trick-or-treaters come to make their demands? Your dog or cat may be scared of the costumes, and the noise and excitement of visitors can make pets nervous.

When pets are anxious, escaping out of the front door looks awfully appealing. This is why many cats and dogs wind up at the shelter on Halloween night, a very spooky place for any pet.

Did you adopt a COVID puppy or kitty? Be sure your pet has a shiny new ID tag and consider microchipping them if you haven’t yet done so. If your pet already has a chip, make sure it’s up-to-date with your information.

3. Jack-O-Lanterns and Candles Can Be a Spooky Problem

Many newly-adopted dogs and cats are still learning about the human world, and some lessons can get them into trouble. Even pets that have been with you for years can find themselves in precarious situations during this season.

Something as simple as burning candles and displaying a jack-o-lantern can be a Halloween hazard for pets. For example, while cooked pumpkin is beneficial for dogs to eat, your pup won’t know your carved pumpkin isn’t dinner and may take a nibble of a raw one, go overboard, and get sick. Fall is also when we frequently hear about candles causing burns to pets and even starting fires.

To keep your pet safe, choose battery-powered candles, and keep your jack-o-lantern away from curious noses.

4. Planning to Dress Your Pet in a Cute Costume?

We love all the silly and adorable pet costumes that are popular these days. While these get-ups are cute, they can also become dangerous for pets.

Doggie or kitty dress-up is a great activity when the outfit fits appropriately and doesn’t have choking hazards, but even so, never leave your pet unattended while they are wearing a costume. When wrestling to get garments off, pets can get tangled in ties or pull off buttons, which can quickly become a choking hazard.

When dressing your senior pet, be sure to be gentle. Stretching your pet’s limbs can be painful for pups and cats with arthritis or joint pain.

5. Keep Your Pet Safe from Fall Decor and More

Decorating for Halloween is one of the most fun activities this time of year. As much as we love the aesthetic, dried corn, winter gourds, themed wreaths, and spooky webs or ribbons can create intestinal blockages if a pet eats them. Try to keep these decorations up high on walls or doors, so nobody nibbles them.

Electric cords connected to outdoor inflatables and other decorations can cause severe burns if a curious pet bites into one, and are a fire hazard if they get chewed. Keep cords taped down or secured far from your pet.

Have a Not-So-Scary Halloween This Year!

Have a safe, happy Howl-o-ween! We hope your pet has a warm and cozy fall season. If you need a little help keeping the creepy crawling parasites we see this time of year from coming indoors with your companion, make an appointment to see us today. It’s always a treat to see you and your pet!

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Steckelberg Veterinary Clinic is committed to providing high-quality, personal, affordable
veterinary services to our clients. Our team strives to serve small and large animal clients to strengthen
the human-animal bond. Founded in 1960, we continue to be family-owned and work to make a positive
impact in our community.

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