Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
This is a season to say thanks to those we love, including our canine companions. Some dog owners do this by sharing some of their family feast with their pooch. While you may think that a few morsels of “people food” can’t hurt, the fact is that some foods can be harmful—even lethal—to dogs.
The foods we eat during the holidays tend to be particularly rich and fatty, and that can cause health problems in dogs now and down the road. Vomiting and diarrhea are commonly seen in dogs given food that is not a part of their regular diet, especially foods that are high in fat.
During the week of Halloween, calls to the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline increase by 12 percent, making it the call center’s busiest time of year. “Each year we experience a sharp increase in calls around Halloween, especially during the weekends surrounding the holiday,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline.
“Most often, these calls involve pets accidentally ingesting Halloween candy or décor. Chocolate is one of the most problematic candies as dogs and cats cannot metabolize it as well as people. Thus, it places them at risk for poisoning.”
The four most common food-related Halloween hazards for pets are chocolate, candy overindulgence, raisins and candy wrappers.
Is chocolate poisonous to dogs?
Of all candy, chocolate is one of the most toxic to pets. Over the past year, more than 1,100 calls to Pet Poison Helpline involved exposure to chocolate and 98 percent of them involved dogs. Many dogs are inherently attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate, making it a significant threat. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more poisonous it is. The chemicals in chocolate that are dangerous to pets, methylxanthines, are similar to caffeine and more heavily concentrated in the darker varieties. In fact, a 50-pound dog can be sickened by ingesting only one ounce of Baker’s chocolate! On the other hand, it may take up to eight ounces, (half a pound) of milk chocolate to cause poisoning in that same sized dog. White chocolate contains very low amounts of methylxanthine and rarely causes poisoning. To avoid issues, keep Halloween candy well out of the reach of pets at all times. If you think your pet may have ingested chocolate, symptoms to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures.
Pets are indiscriminate when it comes to eating tasty treats and can gorge themselves on snacks and food meant for humans. Large ingestions of sugary, high-fat candy can lead to pancreatitis in pets. Potentially fatal, pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and very painful. It may not show up for two to four days after the pet ingests the candy. Symptoms include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and potentially, kidney failure or organ damage.
Are grapes & raisins poisonous to dogs?
Some people prefer to distribute healthy snacks instead of candy on Halloween, such as mini-boxes of raisins. These are extremely are poisonous to dogs! Very small amounts of raisins (and grapes) can cause kidney failure in dogs and, potentially, cats. When it comes to your pets, raisins deserve the same pet-proofing treatment as chocolate – stored in secure containers far from their reach. Unfortunately, some dogs develop idiosyncratic reactions at any dose – in other words, they can ingest any amount and potentially be poisoned. Therefore, any ingestion of raisins or grapes should be treated as a “poisoning” case. Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, and severe kidney failure.
Generally when pets eat candy, they don’t bother to remove the wrappers. Ingestion of foil and cellophane wrappers can cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction, which if severe, can require surgical intervention to correct. Watch for vomiting, decreased appetite, not defecating, straining to defecate, or lethargy. X-rays may be necessary to diagnose this problem.
Glow sticks and glow jewelry:
Pets, especially cats, love to chew on these items. Over the past year, Pet Poison Helpline received nearly 80 calls concerning pets that punctured glow sticks or glow jewelry, and 70 percent of the calls involved cats. While not usually life-threatening, their contents can cause pain and irritation in the mouth, as well as profuse drooling and foaming at the mouth.
Pets look cute dressed in costumes, but they might not enjoy it as much as their owners. If you dress your pet in a costume, be sure it doesn’t impair his vision, movement or air intake. If the costume contains metallic beads, snaps or other small pieces, be aware that if ingested, some metals (especially zinc and lead) can result in serious poisoning. Also, don’t be tempted to dye or apply coloring to your pet’s fur. Even if the dye is labeled non-toxic to humans, it could still be harmful to pets.
Keep candles out of the reach of curious noses and wagging tails. Sometimes pets don’t realize something is hot until they get burned.
The ASPCA hopes you enjoy the last days of summer and reminds you to make sure your four-legged friends enjoy a safe holiday, too.
Labor Day weekend marks summer’s unofficial end, and many families are heading out-with their companion animals-for end-of-season getaways. The ASPCA hopes you enjoy the last days of summer and reminds you to make sure your four-legged friends enjoy a safe holiday, too. By following these simple safety tips, you can rest assured your pet will remain happy and healthy during his last summer blast!
Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
Always assign a dog guardian. No matter where you’re celebrating, be sure to assign a friend or member of the family to keep an eye on your pooch-especially if you’re not in a fenced-in yard or other secure area. With all the festivities, it’s easy to overlook a dog on the run!
Made in the shade. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water, and make sure they have a shady place to escape the sun. Be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of paws’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing-or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested, can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
Keep your pet on his normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that people foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, salt, yeast dough, grapes and raisins can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingesting any of these items can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression in your pets, and if inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia.
Never leave your dog alone in the car. Traveling with your dog means occasionally you’ll make stops in places where he’s not permitted. Be sure to rotate dog walking duties between family members, and never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time, even with the windows open-not to mention it’s illegal in several states!
Make a safe splash. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.
This article is courtesy of ASPCA
- Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
Don’t forget to come see everyone tomorrow from 10-2! Luvin’ Labs has done this for a few years in a row and it’s always a blast!
Come help support local rescue groups Luvin’ Labs and Justice Great Dane Rescue! Located here at out clinic this Saturday from 10-2.
10 Ways to Celebrate Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
During the month of March, bring your dog in to see us for a heartworm test! If you buy heartworm prevention (6 months worth or more) you can get the Heartworm test for $20!