October 25, 2017

Trick-or-Treat Tips for Your Clients

With Halloween fast approaching, it’s good to remind your clients that this season can provoke stress and anxiety in their pets and is also fraught with potential hazards.
By Kerry Lengyel
The undead are coming, and your clients need to be prepared. With Halloween right around the corner, you know the horrors that are waiting down that dark alley, but your clients may not. To help you out this season, we’ve scavenged some advice for you to share with clients as they prepare for the inevitable flood of trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Feel free to post these pointers on your Facebook page or Twitter feed!
1. Keep Fluffy away from the door.
Whether your pet is fearful of strangers, anxious about loud noises, or potentially aggressive, there’s no reason to have her greeting the neighborhood children. You will be opening and closing your front door constantly while you pass out candy, which gives your pet the perfect opportunity to make a run for it.

Prevent door dashing, frightened children and potential injury by either keeping your pet in a separate room or making sure he’s preoccupied whenever you need to answer the door.
2. No candy treats for Rover.
It is the start of the giving season, but that doesn’t mean you should give their furry friend Halloween candy, some of which may be toxic. Chocolate is extremely dangerous to both dogs and cats, and the artificial sweetener xylitol found in sugar-free candy can cause serious health issues for pets. Some examples of treats that can be life-threatening:
  • Candy corn (high in sugar)
  • Chocolate-covered raisins (both chocolate and raisins are toxic)
  • Sugar-free gum (contains xylitol)
  • Bite-sized hard candy (choking hazard)
  • Candy wrappers (plastic and foil can cause obstructions)

Keep candy treats up high or hidden away in a cabinet or cupboard at all times. And if you find that your pet still got into the candy stash, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
3. Make sure Spot is wearing her tags.
It’s always important for pets to be wearing a collar and identification tag, but it’s especially important during the Halloween season. Unfortunately, pets are susceptible to pranks, may get stolen, or might end up outside for some other reason (like door dashing).

Whatever the cause, the easiest and quickest way to be reunited with your lost pet is for the person who finds him to have a simple way to contact you.
4. Keep bright lights away from Fido.
A noticeable marker for the start of the holiday season are all the lights that can be seen around your neighborhood. Whether it’s carved pumpkins lit up with candles or orange string lights hanging around your home, these items are dangerous for pets.

Your dog or cat could get burned by Jack-o-lanterns and could get electrocuted by low-lying wires from your lights. So, be cautious when making your house the best haunted house on your block.
5. Make sure Fifi likes her costume.
Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a pet scamper around the house dressed up as a cowboy or princess? While you might get a kick out of it, your pet may be very uncomfortable.

Make sure your pet’s Halloween costume fits properly—nothing should be inhibiting movement, dangling down, or impeding the ability to breathe. Also make sure the costume isn’t causing your pet unnecessary stress. Some pets have no issue wearing costumes and clothes, but some can become frantic or aggressive when dressed up.
Sign up to receive the latest news in veterinary medicine.

Latest Issue

Client Education

American Veterinarian
 
`