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Chocolate Isn't the Only Danger to WYO Pets This Halloween

PHOTO: This Halloween, the most important part of your pet's "costume" is a collar and ID tag. Photo credit: iStockphoto.com.
PHOTO: This Halloween, the most important part of your pet's "costume" is a collar and ID tag. Photo credit: iStockphoto.com.
October 31, 2013

CASPER, Wyo. - It can be a fun-filled night for kids of all ages in Wyoming tonight, but unless pet owners take some precautions, Halloween can pose serious risks for four-legged friends. When trick-or-treaters bring home the Halloween loot, most people know to keep the chocolate away from their pets.

However, according to veterinarian Dr. Jamie Snow, people should keep the whole candy bowl out of reach. She said the artificial sweetener xylitol found in most sugar-free gums and many other candies can be fatal to animals.

"If a dog eats that and ingests it in a good enough amount, it can cause severe liver failure and very profoundly low blood sugar, and kill them. I won't let it in my house," Snow said.

Halloween safety begins with securing pets inside the house, or somewhere they won't get overexcited by all the doorbell-ringing, kids and costumes, she said. That might be in a room away from the front door, with their favorite bed and toys and maybe a radio or TV playing. She added to be sure all animals have a collar and ID tag in case they bolt and run.

"Almost on a weekly basis, we have somebody that finds a dog or a cat with no collar, no microchip, and it's very hard to find their homes if they have no identification," she said.

As for dressing pets up in Halloween costumes, Snow advised treating animals the same as toddlers - beware of choking or breathing hazards, and don't leave them unsupervised while they're suited up.


Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY