Halloween is the start of the “season” for chocolate-related illnesses, most commonly chocolate toxicity. In 2014, we saw a 71% increase in chocolate toxicity during Halloween compared to the previous six months of the year.
“In our experience, Halloween is the second biggest time of year for chocolate ingestion after the winter holiday season,” said Dr. Steve Weinrauch, veterinarian at Trupanion.
On average, chocolate-related health issues cost pet owners about $240 per claim and some claims can be as high as $1,200. Both cats and dogs are at risk for chocolate poisoning, but there are more reported cases of dogs since they will typically eat anything.
Chocolate is not the only thing to look out for this Halloween. Whether you’re trick-or-treating, hosting a party, going to a party, or staying in, Halloween can be a hectic and stressful time for your cat or dog.
Halloween Pet Safety Tips
In the weeks approaching Halloween, stringy decorations and candy can pose a threat to any curious pet, and the night of introduces an array of stressful situations. The increased activity, including loud knocks or ringing of the doorbell every few minutes accompanied by new faces, smells, and sounds can be a stimulus overload for many pets which is why it’s important to take them into consideration. Dr. Weinrauch provides tips for keeping your pet safe this Halloween:
- If you’re setting out decorations, keep in mind that many can be harmful to pets if consumed. Lights, cords, paper decorations, fake spider webs, or maize can be dangerous and always try to keep smaller chewable items away from pets.
- Consider scouting out treats that your pet can enjoy. Most pet bakeries or pet stores will have special fall and Halloween themed treats for your pet so they can indulge in something other than chocolate.
- Give your scared cat or dog a quiet, safe space away from trick-or-treaters or party guests. Give them a new toy or treat to keep them occupied while you are away. Keep an eye on pets as they tend to dart out the door sometimes when the bell rings or get into trouble as soon as you turn your back.
Keeping your pet in mind will allow you both to have a safe and fun Halloween. Read 7 Ways to Celebrate Halloween with Your Pet for more pet Halloween tips.