By Mona Shand, Michigan News Connection
Halloween is one of the most fun-filled nights for kids of all ages, but unless pet owners take precautions, the holiday could pose serious risks for four-legged friends. When trick-or-treaters bring home the Halloween loot, most people know to keep the chocolate away from pets, but, according to veterinarian Dr. Jamie Snow, keep the whole candy bowl out of reach of Rover and Fluffy, because the artificial sweetener xylitol found in most sugar-free gums and many other candies can be fatal to animals.
“I won’t let it in my house,” she declared. “If a dog eats that and ingests it in a good enough amount, it can cause severe liver failure and very profoundly low blood sugar and kill them.”
Snow said Halloween safety begins with securing pets inside the house or in a place where they won’t get overexcited by an onslaught of children, and to be sure all animals have proper identification. It’s all too easy for pets to escape amid all the Halloween commotion, but Snow says a few simple precautions will greatly increase the chance an animal will be reunited with its owner if that happens.
“Almost on a weekly basis, we have somebody that finds a dog or a cat with no collar, no microchip, and it’s very hard to find their homes if they have no identification,” she warned.
As for dressing pets up in Halloween costumes, Snow said to treat animals the same as toddlers: beware of choking or breathing hazards, and don’t leave them unsupervised while they’re suited up.