Keep Pets Safe from Halloween Pet Hazards

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers tips to avoid holiday horrors.

Posted: October 07, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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The arrival of Halloween brings fun parties, trick-or-treaters and lots of delicious candies. However, some of the same goodies and decorations humans are fond of can be potentially hazardous to pets.

And with that in mind, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is offering pet owners some helpful safety hints for their pets during Halloween:

 Halloween treats with chocolate are not appropriate for pets. Depending on the dose ingested, chocolate can be poisonous to many animals. In general, the less sweet the chocolate, the more toxic it could be.

 Candies and gum containing large amounts of the sweetener xylitol can be toxic to pets, as significant quantities ingested can produce a sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, lack of coordination and seizures. Be sure to keep such products out of pets’ reach.

 Keep aluminum foil and cellophane candy wrappers away from pets. They can cause vomiting and could produce intestinal blockage.

 Keep your pet on its normal diet. Any change of diet, even for one meal, can give a dog or cat severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals with delicate digestive systems.

 Never give or allow your pets to access alcoholic beverages. Place unattended drinks where pets can’t reach them.

 Halloween decorative plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively non-toxic, but they potentially can cause gastrointestinal upset and might cause intestinal blockage as well if large pieces are ingested.

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

 Liquid potpourri, commonly used to add pleasant scents to the home during holidays, can be hazardous to pets. Potentially severe damage to the mouth, skin and eyes could result from exposure to both heated and cooled liquid potpourris.

If you suspect your pet might have become exposed to a potentially toxic product or substance, immediately contact your local veterinarian for assistance, or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

For more information on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, visit its website.

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