October 30, 2009

Oregon animal injury prevention: Halloween risks for cats, dogs, and other companion animals

For animals, Halloween can be a frightening and even deadly time. As kids and parents get busy preparing to scare and be scared this October 31, it can be easy to forget that trick-or-treating brings risks to companion animals. Family cats, dogs, birds, and others may be exposed to traumatizing sights and sounds, as well as potentially toxic substances like chocolate.

The ASPCA has a helpful list of pet safety tips. Perhaps most important, common candy ingredients including chocolate and xylitol, a sweetener, may be highly dangerous to animals. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include seizures, but also less obvious signs of distress like vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, frequent urination, and increased heart rate. Xylitol can cause seizures, as well as lower blood sugar leading to liver failure. Even “healthy” treats like raisins and grapes may cause kidney failure in dogs and cats.

The wrappers containing Halloween candy are also a potential source of injuries to companion animals. Foil and cellophane packaging can cause choking or intestinal blockages.

Other Halloween activities may also turn the night dangerous for pets. Strangers may frighten sensitive animals, who may dart outside and become lost or hit by cars. Pet costumes may also provoke fear and stress. Tails may knock over lit pumpkins or other candles, putting both pets and people at risk of burns or causing property damage. Taking simple precautions like keeping the candy—as well as the cats and dogs—under control can help ensure that the Halloween frights don’t cause real scares.

The Law Office of Dane E. Johnson is an Oregon animal law and personal injury law firm ready to assist with all animal-related legal issues.Please contact us at (503) 975-8298 or visit our website. Portland, Oregon animal lawyer Dane Johnson offers a free case consultation.

Related Web Resources
ASPCA Halloween Safety Tips
Pet Poison Advice and Emergency Helpline

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