Halloween dangers for pets range from too much candy to going astray

The week surrounding Halloween is one of the most dangerous times of the year for pets. Petplan, a company that insures 100,000 dogs and cats across the country, found that claims for pet poisoning increase by 284 percent in the week following Halloween. While candy consumption is the most prevalent pet health risk, Halloween poses many additional dangers to pets. To make the holiday safer for all members of the family, Petplan would like pet parents to be aware of the following pet health hazards. Special to the Times

Trick-or-treaters: Incidences of straying soar during Halloween as trick-or-treaters lead to more doors being left ajar and more pets getting loose. To reduce the risk of straying, make sure pets are either on a leash or safely in another room before answering the door.

Pet costumes: The National Retail Federation reports 14.7 percent of pet owners will dress up their pets for the holiday. Pet parents should ensure their pet's vision is clear, their movement is unencumbered and that the costume is free of small pieces that can easily be chewed off and/or swallowed. Also, be mindful of the temperature as pets wrapped in costumes can overheat and become dehydrated.

Candy and wrappers: Just like humans, most pets have trouble stopping after one piece of candy. Large quantities of sugary and high-fat candy can cause pancreatitis, which can necessitate expensive veterinary care. The threat doesn't stop there, though, as candy wrappers pose a serious threat of intestinal obstruction, which often requires surgery.

Raisins: Some health-conscious parents prefer to hand out mini-boxes of raisins instead of candy. While better for children, raisins are extremely poisonous to pets — especially dogs. Even in small doses, raisin consumption can cause kidney failure in dogs and cats.

Halloween dangers for pets range from too much candy to going astray 10/24/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 24, 2011 5:30am]

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