Fall & Halloween Pet Safety in Highland Park
Fall & Halloween Pet Safety
Autumn is a time of preparation for winter’s inevitable return, but it’s also a time to enjoy the tricks and treats of Halloween. However, there are some risks that come with the season, and it’s important to remember what these are so you can keep your pet safe and prevent a health emergency. Our animal hospital offers the following fall and Halloween pet safety tips to make this season as worry-free as possible.
Tips for Fall
- It’s getting cold outside—is your pet staying warm? Their fur coat may not be enough to protect them from the elements, especially if their coat is short and/or fine. Sweaters and jackets for pets are a practical solution for blustery days, especially if your pet still insists on getting their daily walk!
- For pets that enjoy being outdoors, put together a shelter that is several inches off the ground and sturdy enough to keep out the wind and rain. Clean straw at the bottom provides good insulation, and be sure to include soft, clean bedding, fresh water, and anything else your pet might need. That being said, don’t leave your pet outside for too long, and be sure to check on them regularly.
- Wild mushrooms pop up quite often around this time, especially in damp soil and layers of decomposing leaves. While most wild mushrooms are harmless, there are a few that can be deadly if eaten. This includes the death cap mushroom and one of its cousins, the Destroying Angel. For optimal safety, we recommend removing and disposing of any wild mushrooms you find growing in and around your yard. On walks, keep to paths and don’t allow your pet to get too close to any mushrooms.
Tips for Halloween
- Candy corn, chocolate-covered raisins, hard candy, and sugar-free gum and candy are all dangerous for pets. The excessive sugar in candy corn can cause severe diarrhea, while chocolate-covered raisins can cause both kidney failure and severe vomiting and diarrhea. Hard candies are major choking hazards, and sugar-free treats often have an ingredient called xylitol, which is highly toxic. If consumed, it can cause a pet’s blood sugar to drop, resulting in seizures and liver failure. Store all candy responsibly so it stays out of your pet’s reach!
- Wrapped candy and candy wrappers can also cause choking pets, along with obstruction of the GI tract.
- Think twice about using these decorations this year (there are plenty of safe alternatives!):
- Fake spiderweb, in which pets can become entangled, and which can be a choking hazard for pets that like to chew things
- Candles, which are a serious fire hazard
- Electrical cords, which can injure your pet if they chew on them
- Plastic spider rings, which can cause choking
- Popped balloons and strings, which can cause choking and bowel obstruction
- Candy centerpieces
- Leaving your pet in the yard on Halloween night could make them a vulnerable target for pranks, which are not always harmless. Black cats are especially at risk this time of year and should be kept inside as much as possible.