A Pet Halloween Horror Story: Safety Tips for Pets

Whether you are a fan of scary stories or tasty treats, Halloween has plenty to offer. However, this spooky holiday can also offer up some terrifying times for pets, as many hazards come with decorating, trick-or-treating, or celebrating. Follow along as we share a fictitious pet’s brush with Halloween horrors to learn how to keep your own furry pal safe.

Igor’s haunting Halloween tale

Igor, a black senior pug, had celebrated his fair share of holidays. However, last Halloween was his most horrifying. Typically, Igor was a good sport and participated in all his family’s festivities, no matter how silly he felt being dressed up, or how many people visited their home. So, again, Igor had displayed his usual good grace in the face of Halloween, and resigned himself to being trussed up in another costume and being the center of attention at the all-night party. 

But, from the start, Igor experienced mishap after mishap last spooky season. When his family placed their lighted, carved up jack-o-lanterns on the front porch, Igor joined in to admire them, but he wandered too close to a lit-up likeness of himself, and singed his whiskers on the flickering candle inside the pumpkin. He yelped and darted for safety—right through a giant fake spider web. His family grabbed him before he managed to lick off too much of the sticky substance, since the stringy spider web could bunch up in his gastrointestinal tract and cause an obstruction. 

Then they headed indoors, and the family decided to put on a fashion show and model their new costumes. Igor was to be outfitted in a bath loofah costume, which he eyed with suspicionhis favorite plush duckie was dangling from the bath, but the large mass of puffy material still looked threatening. Igor ran, but his owners chased him down, and crammed him into the costume. As the poor pup struggled to escape, a loop of fluffy loofah material tightened around his neck, interfering with his already restricted breathing ability. He panicked and began rolling and biting, trying to get his costume off. Fortunately, his quick-thinking owners grabbed a pair of scissors, cut Igor out of his ill-fitting outfit, and decided Igor should simply show off his natural “pug-eyed” look, highlighted with a festive collar.

After that excitement, the family took a break and settled in to watch a chilling horror movie and to snack on a freshly opened bag of Halloween candy that contained all their chocolatey favorites. Igor claimed his usual spot in the center of the couch. As the movie became more terrifying, the family became distracted and forgot about the candy. Igor happily snatched up the M&Ms and peanut butter cups, grateful they mostly were already unwrapped. After devouring his forbidden treats, Igor reached up to kiss his owner in gratitude. When she caught the chocolate odor to his breath, her shriek rivaled the horror movie’s leading actress. 

She leapt off the couch, flipped on the lights, and spotted the evidence of the chocolate massacre on the light beige couch. She knew that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and dialed the nearest emergency veterinary hospital as she instructed her family to head to the car with Igor.

At the emergency hospital, the veterinary team induced Igor to vomit to ensure he expelled every last trace of chocolate. Based on the amount of chocolate he had eaten, Igor was hospitalized overnight and administered intravenous fluids and gastroprotectant as needed. The next day, he was bright, alert, and ready to head home in good health.

After that emergency, Igor’s family wanted to prevent other Halloween horrors from befalling their pooch. To ensure their pug’s safety during the revolving round of trick-or-treaters, they updated Igor’s microchip registration and purchased new, legible collar ID tags. They also set up a quiet haven away from the front door to give Igor someplace to relax and to prevent him from darting out the open door. There, Igor could solve a treat puzzle, curl up in the cozy bed, and gnaw on a new toy, all while watching a canine-friendly TV show. The family also instructed their kids to keep all their Halloween haul high on a pantry shelf and to eat only at the table. With the Halloween safety plan in place, Igor was finally able to enjoy October 31, and is looking forward to an uneventful Halloween this year. 

Igor’s Halloween lessons

Igor’s story is all too common for pets trying to make the most of Halloween, and who ultimately get into mischief. To keep your furry pal safe on October 31, follow Igor’s tips:

  • House hazards Block your pet’s access to seasonal decor, such as pumpkins, squash, and chrysanthemums, which can cause gastrointestinal upset, toxicity, or a fire.
  • Costume hazards Avoid dressing up your pet in an ill-fitting costume that restricts movement, breathing, or vision.
  • Candy hazards Keep all candy out of your pet’s reach, because chocolate and raisins are toxic, and the wrappers can become a gastrointestinal obstruction.
  • Safety from hazards Give your pet a safe place to ride out the constant barrage of trick-or-treaters, and block off the front door to ensure they cannot escape.

Despite your best efforts, mischief is often afoot during Halloween. If your four-legged friend gets into trouble on October 31, contact our Animal Hospital of Parkland team for help.

By |2024-02-14T23:52:46+00:00October 1st, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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