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Don't let Halloween haunt your pets

Halloween is one of the most dangerous and stressful times of the year for furry family members. While including Fido and Fluffy in the festivities can be fun, keep their best interest in mind with these tips.

When witches come calling: If you're expecting lots of ghosts and goblins to ring your doorbell, make sure your pet isn't tempted to go trick-or-treating with them. Set up a room with water, food, toys and a comfy bed where your dog or cat can stay safe and sound.

Also, make sure your pet has a registered microchip. The tiny chip, implanted easily between your pet's shoulder blades, will make a reunion much easier if he or she darts out of the house.

Ghastly getups: According to the National Retail Federation, 13.8 percent of pet parents will dress up their pets for Halloween. If your furry friend will be going incognito, be sure he or she can see and move around easily, and that the costume is free of frills that could easily be chewed off and/or swallowed. Remember, too, that pets can become overheated and dehydrated in their disguises.

Frightful candy: According to Petplan pet insurance's claims data from 2010-2012, pets are 25 percent more likely to get sick due to eating chocolate during Halloween week than other weeks of the year. Average veterinary cost for treating chocolate ingestion is $377. One family faced a veterinary bill of over $3,000.

Some families prefer to hand out raisins to trick-or-treaters instead of sugary sweets. While they may be healthier for children, raisins are toxic to pets — especially dogs. Even in small doses, raisins can cause kidney failure, so keep them well away from pets.

Even if you're diligent about keeping candy out of the reach of pets' prying paws, beware of their wrappers, which can also be hazardous. They can become lodged in your pet's intestines, causing an obstruction that could require surgery. So be sure trash is tossed in a lidded bin.

Don't let Halloween haunt your pets 10/24/13 [Last modified: Monday, October 28, 2013 11:35am]
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