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13 Halloween Safety Tips To Prevent Scardy Cats & Pups

 

Halloween Safety Tips

No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 13 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.

  • Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate—and even seizures.
  • Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.
  • Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed.  (As we head toward decorating for Thanksgiving or Christmas… some popular plants used are much more toxic and hazardous).

3. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets, and can be fun and great with others!! Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams and some are pretty neutral!).  Some even love going out with the family in costume for trick or treating.  But for pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.  For some pets walking with the adult who is supervising the trick or treating is better than leaving them home, but don’t send your pets out with your children.  It can end up being traumatic for both the kids and the pets.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night (at least during the day today, if you haven’t already). If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au natural or donning a festive bandana.  Also, if you are one to dress up to give out candy, make sure your pets are comfortable with your costume or mask.  And make sure that your pets are either their to watch you and kids dress up or remove the masks and scary parts before they see you, after coming home.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.  Another option is to put up a baby gate in front of the door, so you don’t have the constant ringing of the door bell.  Many pets do much better with that because they feel part of the activities without the noise.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside, another plus for using the baby gate idea.  Make sure that birds, exotics, and pocket pets, etc are in their cages or in restrained areas as well.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification, and today is definitely a day when they should be wearing them!  If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.  And if you are taking your pet trick out trick or treating with the family, ID’s and leashes are a must!

11.  Do not leave your pets at home alone during peak trick or treating hours, (or during ‘trick or treating hours’ at all if you can help it).  The noise of children running, the strange sounds, and the doorbells can be very stressful and even traumatic for pets.  If you can’t be home, get a pet sitter or drop them off with someone who will be home.  For most of us, someone can stay behind to give out candy and be with the pets or if you are going to a party, they usually start, or at least get going, long after the trick-or-treaters have gone.

 

12. If you are Having a Halloween Party or Going to One, take your pets to a friends’ or family member’s house, board them, or take them to a sitter.  Large amounts of people, lots of costumes and scary noises, doors opening and closing where they can get out and lost, and dropped food or food and alcohol given them by unknowing or drunk friends can mean disaster for your pets!!

 

13. Be a responsible pet parent, companion and animal caretaker and use your common sense like you would with your small children to keep your pets’ safe and stress free!  If you do suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Source: ASPCA & Common Sense

 Happy Howl-oween!!


October 31, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 10 Human Medications That Poison Our Pets

Did you know that ingestion of human medications is the most common cause of household poisonings in small animals?

Although pet parents are well aware of poisons lurking around their home, many don’t realize that some of the biggest culprits are sitting right on their own nightstands. In 2007, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received 89,000 calls related to pets ingesting over-the-counter and prescription medications. To help you prevent an accident from happening, our experts have created a list of the top 10 human medications that most often poison our furry friends.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the following items, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. And remember to keep all medications tucked away in bathroom cabinets—and far from curious cats and dogs.

NSAIDs
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are the most common cause of pet poisoning in small animals, and can cause serious problems even in minimal doses. Pets are extremely sensitive to their effects, and may experience stomach and intestinal ulcers and—in the case of cats—kidney damage.

Antidepressants
Antidepressants can cause vomiting and lethargy and certain types can lead to serotonin syndrome—a condition marked by agitation, elevated body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, disorientation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

Acetaminophen
Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen, which can damage red blood cells and interfere with their ability to transport oxygen. In dogs, it can cause liver damage and, at higher doses, red blood cell damage.

Methylphenidate (for ADHD)
Medications used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in people act as stimulants in pets and can dangerously elevate heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as cause seizures.

Fluorouracil
Fluorouracil—an anti-cancer drug—is used topically to treat minor skin cancers and solar keratitis in humans. It has proven to be rapidly fatal to dogs, causing severe vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest even in those who’ve chewed on discarded cotton swabs used to apply the medication.

Isoniazid
Often the first line of defense against tuberculosis, isoniazid is particularly toxic for dogs because they don’t metabolize it as well as other species. It can cause a rapid onset of severe seizures that may ultimately result in death.

Pseudoephedrine
Pseudoephedrine is a popular decongestant in many cold and sinus products, and acts like a stimulant if accidentally ingested by pets. In cats and dogs, it causes elevated heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature as well as seizures.

Anti-diabetics
Many oral diabetes treatments—including glipizide and glyburide—can cause a major drop in blood sugar levels of affected pets. Clinical signs of ingestion include disorientation, lack of coordination and seizures.

Vitamin D derivatives
Even small exposures to Vitamin D analogues like calcipotriene and calcitriol can cause life-threatening spikes in blood calcium levels in pets. Clinical signs of exposure—including vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination and thirst due to kidney failure—often don’t occur for more than 24 hours after ingestion.

Baclofen
Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that can impair the central nervous systems of cats and dogs. Some symptoms of ingestion include significant depression, disorientation, vocalization, seizures and coma, which can lead to death.

  • Pets are ultra-sensitive to anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen, which can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers and kidney damage in cats.
  • Nothing like antidepressants to bring a pet down—they can trigger vomiting, lethargy and a frightening condition called serotonin syndrome.
  • The popular pain remedy acetaminophen is especially toxic to cats, and can damage red blood cells and interfere with oxygen flow.
  • Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant found in many cold remedies, but acts like a stimulant in cats and dogs, who can experience elevated heart rates and seizures.

Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up meds accidentally dropped on the floor. The solution? “Keep all medications in a cabinet,” advises Dr. Helen Myers, veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA. “And consider taking your pills in a bathroom, so if you drop one, you can shut the door and prevent your pet from accessing the room until the medication is found.”

Source:  ASPCA

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October 17, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments