Pets & Halloween: 3 Health Hazards That Could Put Your Pet at Risk by 30Seconds Mom
Ghosts and goblins aren’t the spookiest thing pets encounter during the Halloween season. The hallmarks of the holiday can scare up a bone-load of trouble for furry friends. Petplan pet insurance warns that candy, costumes and creepy décor can all leave a dog or cat feeling ruff – and have a ghastly effect on a pet parent’s budget. Petplan’s Staff Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Maniet reveals the top three hazards pet parents should beware (and their terrifying costs to treat!):
- Dangerous Delicacies (food poisoning): Most pet parents know that the theobromine in chocolate poses a threat, but some don’t realize that the candy can affect pets in different ways. The type of chocolate, how much a pet eats and their weight are all factors in how severely toxic chocolate can be. Here’s how pet parents can calculate their pet’s risk:
-Multiply the ounces ingested by the milligrams of theobromine per ounce
-Divide that number by the weight of the dog
-The closer the resulting number is to 20, the worse the toxic effects will haunt him.
“Even if a pet is not in the danger zone, the sugar and dairy will likely have GI effects, like vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity or lethargy,” says Dr. Maniet. “These issues can be serious all on their own, so it’s best to visit the vet when a furry friend gets into mischief.” Food poisoning costs pet parents an average of $830 per visit.
- Bedazzled Apparel (foreign body ingestions): When dressing best friends, Dr. Maniet says to be sure they can see clearly, move freely and that the costume is free of frills that can be chewed off and swallowed. She also warns that elaborate costumes in warm climates can cause a pet to overheat or become dehydrated.
“And remember: if a dog feels too constricted in his costume, ditch the threads and take him trick or treating in his one-of-a-kind, no-assembly-required dog suit,” Dr. Maniet says. Foreign body ingestions are consistently in the top 10 claims submitted to Petplan each year and cost an average of $1,872 to treat.
- Decorating Disasters (anxiety): Cobwebs, skeletons and scary noises make a spooky ambiance, but Petplan says to remember that what people find fun can be stressful to pets. “Avoid using decorations that move or make noise, and think twice before putting up human-like figures that can intimidate pets,” says Dr. Maniet. “The hustle and bustle of doorbells ringing and strangers approaching can be frightening enough for some furry friends – adding to the anxiety with alarming adornments will only make their fear worse.”
Anxiety related issues cost an average of $394 to treat, while ailments stemming from an anxious moment can result in fractures ($1,175), bite wounds from other pets ($947) and lacerations/cuts ($641) among others.
“Every year our veterinarians speak out about the dangers of chocolate, candy wrappers, costumes and the like – and for good reason,” says Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “With average costs to treat some of these conditions well over a thousand dollars, a simple mishap can be costlier than you’d ever imagine! Don’t forget to consider furry friends when planning Halloween fun.”