Have a Cat-Friendly Halloween

Remember that many holiday traditions and practices can be hazardous for our furry friends.  Beware of the following kitty dangers this Halloween:

  • Trick-or-treaters

Frequently opening doors can lead to an indoor cat getting outside fairly quickly.  Try to ensure that your cat is in a secure location during trick-or-treating hours.  It is also wise to make sure your pet is wearing identification and is micro-chipped.

  • Holiday decorations

Cats are curious by nature, and unfamiliar objects such as candles, glow sticks, and fake spider webs can look like fun toys and tasty treats.  Also, electrical cords from decorations can be tempting chew toys.  Use caution when allowing your cat near such items.

  • Costumes

If you choose to dress you cat for the occasion, make sure that the costume does not restrict movement or breathing and does not have any easily chewed-off parts.  Never leave your cat unattended while dressed, either.

  • Candy and treats

Don’t forget that many people goodies are no-no’s for our feline friends.  Chocolate in all its forms (especially baking and dark chocolate) is a kitty danger.  Also fun, crinkly candy wrappers can be tempting for curious cats and may lead to ingestion and digestive upset or blockage.

Make sure to pay attention to these tips to prevent your spooky day from being downright scary!

Trick-or-Treating Safety for Your Pet

Is your pet trick-or-treating this year?  If Fido does come along, be sure that you are keeping him or her safe.

  • Halloween can be a stressful!  Crowds of excited children wearing unfamiliar clothing and masks can be downright terrifying for some pets.  If your pet seems overwhelmed by the activity, it may be best to leave it at home.
  • Pet costumes are cute, but they can add to the stress of the evening for some.  If your pet tolerates wearing a costume, be sure that it fits comfortably and allows your pet to see and move freely.  Pets wearing costumes should always be supervised.
  • If you are trick-or-treating after dusk, be sure your pet is visible! You may want to incorporate lights or reflective tape into into any costume.  Also be sure s/he is wearing identification should you become separated.
  • Be careful when you share Halloween treats with your pet.  Chocolate, raisins, and candies containing xylitol are all potentially toxic.

Hip, Hip, Hooray for Vet Techs!

Did you know that October 14-20th is National Veterinary Technician Week?  Take this opportunity to celebrate your pet’s technician!  While your veterinarian is the one responsible for diagnosing, prognosing, prescribing medication, and performing surgeries, your pet’s veterinary technician is essentially your pet’s nurse.  They have completed a two- or four-year degree involving specialized training and are certified and licensed by the state to be able to provide the best possible care for all pets.  They are also required to complete continuing education so that they remain on the cutting-edge.  Veterinary technicians are a valuable part of your pet’s healthcare team.  Be sure to let them know how much they are appreciated!

 

A First Aid Kit for Your Pet

You have the basics for when you are sick or injured, but do you have the supplies on hand that you might need to take care of your pet?  Here are some of the items you should keep, just in case:

  • Information

Contact information for your veterinarian, an emergency after-hours clinic, and the Animal Poison Control Center should be readily available.  Also consider purchasing a basic pet first-aid book

  • Wound care supplies

Keep some latex gloves, antiseptic soap, gauze sponges, sterile saline, eye wash, and topical antibiotic ointment on hand.

  • Basic bandage material

Gauze roll, elastic bandage material, adhesive tape, and scissors are often handy.

  • “Boy scout” items

While not necessarily first-aid items, things like safety pins, a penlight or flashlight, and needle-nosed pliers are handy to have.  Also consider some type of muzzle or restraint device to keep yourself safe.  Many otherwise friendly pets can become aggressive when injured.

  • Triage materials

A rectal thermometer, sterile lubricant, an emergency blanket, a cold pack, and material to construct a splint are also good items to have.

  • Items approved by your veterinarian

Your vet can recommend a dosage of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to have on hand for your pet in case of an allergic reaction as well as other items that might be specific to your needs.