Experts offer tips to help keep pets safe this Halloween

Published 8:51 am Friday, October 30, 2015

Contributed Photo Tracie Mosley's dog Daisy loves dressing up in a comfortable costume for Halloween!

Contributed Photo Tracie Mosley’s dog Daisy loves dressing up in a comfortable costume for Halloween!

In the season when homes are rife with candy, costume materials and visitors, remember that these can be both intriguing and intimidating for your pet.
Awareness and appropriate caution are the keys to preventing pets from playing with or ingesting these items.
Dr. Lauren Kennedy of Elizabethton Veterinary Clinic provides some advice for pet owners to keep their four-legged friends safe.
“Keep candy out of reach,” she said. “The main problem we see is pets getting into candy, and chocolate is the worst.”
She identified symptoms of ingestion as diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity or seizures. The worst potential outcome is death. She said the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is.
She said one thing less frequently considered on Halloween is that shy and even outgoing dogs may get really excited or nervous with the number of strangers coming to the door.
“Keep them in a quiet corner of the house so they can be calm, and to ensure that they don’t go missing,” she said.
If dressing up your pet, Kennedy said to make sure his or her costume fits comfortably and that it does not irritate them. She also advised staying with the pet the whole time it is in costume so it does not get tangled or hung on something. Choosing costumes that do not obstruct eyes, mouth or ears can avoid a potentially anxious situation for your pet.
Unfortunately, with the constantly ringing doorbell and strangers dressed to cause a scream, many dogs get scared and run. For this reason, Kennedy emphasized the importance of keeping them safe and away from the excitement, as well as having them microchipped and wearing a collar with an up-to-date tag.
Danika Nadzan, Executive Director of East Tennessee Spay and Neuter said that sadly, on Halloween, some people think torturing cats is part of the event, so keeping cats indoors — especially black cats — is an effective way to protect them.
If a pet shows signs of illness, Kennedy recommended calling your primary vet initially, and if closed, the emergency veterinary clinic’s phone number will be on the answering machine. The airport Emergency Vet Clinic is located in Blountville, Tennessee and its phone number is (423) 279-0574.

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