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Halloween dangers for pets

information provided by the North Central Veterinary Emergency Center

HIGHLAND, Ind. (October 29, 2018) – Veterinarians at North Central Veterinary Emergency Center encourage people to watch out for these Halloween hazards to cats’ or dogs’ health and safety.

  • Corncobs, pumpkins, and other gourds can fragment if ingested and can block airways or digestive tracts. Keep any decorations containing these foods out of reach of your pets. Always keep your dog on a leash while on walks to prevent him from getting into your neighbor’s Halloween displays.
  • Pet costumes should use Velcro or similar fastenings—no drawstrings or elastic parts. Costumes should not have dangling parts that are easily chewed by the pet. Make certain your pet can breathe easily and move freely when in its costume. Never leave your pet unattended in a costume.
  • Chocolate ​can be deadly to dogs and also to cats. Cats will often avoid chocolate, but like people, many dogs seem to love it. The darker the chocolate, the deadlier it is. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are highly toxic to pets. Baking chocolate, used in making chocolate cakes, cupcakes and cookies, is especially problematic. If your cat or dog ingests chocolate, contact North Central Veterinary Emergency Center ​or your veterinarian immediately.
  • Crowds and people in costumes can scare even the calmest cats and dogs. Pets should be kept inside during trick-or-treating hours to prevent them from getting spooked. It’s also a good idea to keep them on a leash or away from the door when trick-or-treaters come by. It’s not unusual for cats and dogs to run out an open door when they are frightened. If you do venture out with your dog on Halloween, always keep him on a leash under the control of a responsible adult. It’s best not to leave pets outdoors unattended on Halloween.
  • Strings ​may dangle from costumes and attract the attention of cats. Too often, strings can become lodged in a cat’s throat or intestines and require costly surgery to remove. Be sure to keep costumes and dangling decorations out of the reach of cats.
  • Candles ​can also attract the attention of curious pets who don’t realize how hot the flame and candle wax are. If you have pets in your house, it’s best to use artificial candles for decoration.

Tags and microchips can quickly reunite lost pets with their family. All pets should have up-to-date tags with their name, their address, and their owner’s phone number. They should also be microchipped by their veterinarian, and the microchip information should be kept up-to-date. Microchipping is a quick and fairly inexpensive process to help make certain your pets are returned to you should they become lost.

North Central Veterinary Emergency Center locations are open 24/7. In Highland, Indiana, North Central Veterinary Emergency Center is located at 2427 Ridge Road. Call 219-881-1600 for more information.


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