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Halloween Hazzards For Your Pet

With goblins, ghosts and creatures of every size and shape creeping around the neighborhood, Halloween can be frightening for the bravest of souls.

It can be especially frightful for pets and pet owners. Even the most responsible pet owner may not know all of the dangers lurking around their beloved pet during this time of year.

Thankfully, the nightmares can be avoided.

Halloween can actually be a fun and festive time for both pets and owners. These steps will help keep pets safe and away from the hidden hazards of this October holiday.

• Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets. All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, and even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increase heart rate, and seizures.

Halloween candies containing artificial sweetener Xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of Xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures.

While Xylitol’s toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

• Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween. Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes. But preventable, nonetheless.

• Keep pets confined, and away from the door. Not only will a door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy.

This, of course, can be scary for furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial, and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting a dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door also will prevent them from darting outside into the night.

• Keep outdoor cats inside several days before, and several days after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt our black cats during October as a safety precaution.

• Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach. Although they are relatively non-toxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed.

• Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves, or knocking it over and causing a fire.

• Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach. If chewed, a pet can cut himself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a life-threatening electrical shock.

• Don’t dress a pet in a costume, unless you know they’ll love it. If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe, or bark, or meow.

• Try on pet costumes before the big night. If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit.” Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.

• IDs please! If a dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if a pet does have a microchip.


Located in Kalamazoo, the veterinarians at Pet Vet Family Pet Care Center are committed to your pet's health. Kalamazoo based Pet Vet Family Pet Care Center excels in the science of Veterinary medicine and was founded in 1990. Since then Dr. Wesseldyk and  staff have excelled in compassionate veterinary care in the Kalamazoo area.

Pet Vet Family Pet Care Center is a full-service animal hospital whose mission is to provide the highest standard of veterinary care for pets. We provide friendly, informative, and supportive services for you and your pet, while maintaining a superior working environment for our employees.

Pet Vet Family Pet Care Center offers the Kalamazoo animal community emergency veterinary services as well as medical, surgical, and dental veterinary care. With an in-house pharmacy and access to specialists, our facility offers a one stop for your pet's health and medical care.

Your Pets . . . Our Family!

We are open for appointments and emergencies during normal business hours and on Saturdays.


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Pet Vet Family Pet Care Center
229 S Drake Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
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