MSPCA Reminds Pet Owners of Potential Halloween Dangers

Halloween is meant to be spooky, but also fun, so in order to keep the holidays worry-free, the MSPCA wants to remind pet owners of the potential dangers that could come with the holidays and things to keep in mind while you celebrate. .

While for humans the “sweetest” part of Halloween is the large amount of candy, for pets it actually poses the biggest threat to them, according to Angel Animal’s Dr. Susan O’Bell MSPCA Medical Center.

“Chocolate and other sweets can be harmful to an animal’s stomach,” O’Bell said in a statement. “Pets deserve to enjoy the holidays with us, but instead of sharing candy or other sugary treats, consider getting treats made specifically for pets. places where pets, especially dogs, cannot access them.

O’Bell said if a pet consumes Halloween candy, contact your veterinarian or poison control center.

“Depending on what and how much your pet has eaten, they may recommend monitoring at home, but this could be more serious because many sweets, such as chocolate, are toxic to dogs,” O’Bell says. . “So it’s important to act quickly.”

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The doctor also noted that while Halloween candy presents the most obvious danger, it’s not the only one pet owners should keep in mind.

“Most pet parents know that certain holidays, like the 4th of July, can be stressful or dangerous for pets, but many don’t know that precautions should also be taken around Halloween,” said she said, noting the possibility of the animals sneaking in. the house – especially when the doors are constantly opening and closing for cheaters.

O’Bell recommended that pet owners consider using a baby gate to separate pets from doorways or sequester them in a safe area of ​​the home where they can’t get out. escape.

The MSPCA added that a lot of activity and excitement during the holidays can be “stressful and confusing” for animals, which can cause them to run away. The group added that if dogs are taken outside during the holidays, they must be kept on a leash.

Other advice offered by O’Bell included that if you choose to dress your pet in a costume this Halloween to make sure it doesn’t inhibit their vision, it’s not too tight so as not to restrict the breathing or range of motion and to ensure that the costume cannot become entangled in furniture or other household objects.

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For some animals kept outdoors, such as rabbits and chickens, O’Bell recommends leaving an outdoor light on to keep the animal’s area or enclosure illuminated and regularly monitoring them throughout the evening. .

O’Bell also said it can be scary for pets to encounter humans in disguise. She recommended that owners help their pets “get used to new looks before wearing them,” such as dropping off the costume before Halloween and giving animals such as dogs and cats the chance to wear them. see and feel them.

The MSPCA also recommended allowing pets access to their “preferred indoor hiding places” if they are frightened by a family member or guest in a costume.

He added that different neighborhoods and cities do not always celebrate Halloween on the evening of October 31. You can find out when your town or city celebrates Halloween in Massachusetts here.

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MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center treats more than 100,000 animals each year and said it is one of the busiest 24/7 emergency and specialty veterinary hospitals in the world. world.

In the event of an emergency, medical center services can be contacted any time of the day at 617-522-7282 and pet owners can find more information about staff and services on the MSPCA.

The MSPCA is also always on the lookout for good homes for rescued pets. Those who don’t have pets but are looking for one can browse the MSPCA website to see what could be the next addition to their household.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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