896 W. Laketon Ave Muskegon Mi, 49441 (231) 759-7387
BB's Nine Lives List
BB came to live with us in January 2011. She is one of our resident mascots and greeters. Check back frequently for her Nine Lives List. She will be imparting her veterinary wisdom to help your pet live a longer, happier, healthier life.
9 Steps To a Happy Halloween With No Tricks and Only Treats!
Can you smell the whiff of mischief in the air? It's Halloween season! Halloween is a spooky fun night. Hopefully, your pet will think so too. Their safety is very important, though it doesn't have to be tricky. We recommend simple, common sense precautions that will keep them healthy and enjoying Halloween night!
1. CAREFUL WITH COSTUMES - Many dogs and fewer cats will tolerate a costume. Don't force your pet to wear one. Those who will happily be dressed should wear something that does not restrict their movement, sight or ability to bark or meow. Too loose or ill-fitting costumes may cause tripping, get twisted or caught on objects, leading to an injury. Be sure to remove any dangling or jingling items that could be chewed off and swallowed. Try the costume on before the big night! If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider a festive bandana instead!
2. KEEP PETS CALM - Halloween brings a flurry of activity to your door which can cause anxiety for your dog or cat. Strangers can be scary, especially when they are dressed in different and frightening apparel! Dogs that are noise sensitive may be nervous with the frequency of the doorbell ringing. Consider keeping your pet in a separate room during the peak trick-or-treating hours. Anti-anxiety supplements and pheromone sprays or plug-ins are very helpful for situations like these!
3. IDENTIFICATION - Always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification. It is too easy for your dog or cat to slip through an open door and dart outside. ID tags with current name, phone number or even an address is recommended. Microchips are invaluable for these circumstances as well! It's a simple procedure your veterinarian can do. Lastly, don't keep their collar too loose. They can slip it off while leashed.
4. TREATS OUT OF REACH - Keep Halloween treats, candy and chocolate stored safely out of reach from your pet's paws! Cats can be just as determined to chew and eat things they shouldn't as your dog might! Many foods, especially chocolate, gum and xylitol (a commonly used sweetener) can be very harmful to your pet. Don't take a chance, keep the treats up high.
5. DANGEROUS DECORATIONS - Be aware that decorations can pose a serious threat to your dog or cat. Items such as plastic eyeballs or small decorations can be a choking risk or even cause an intestinal blockage. Cobwebs can entangle them and fake blood and glow sticks are possible poisons. Be very cautious and do not leave your pets unattended while decorations are up.
6. OUTDOOR PERILS - Dogs and cats are always safest when kept indoors. Outdoor decorations such as carved pumpkins, corn cobs, candles, wires and lighting, spray webbing and loose candy wrappers can be attractive. Typically we see heavier traffic and strangers about on Halloween night, which can cause confusion, fright or injury if people or your pet are not fully paying attention. Children may be too excitable towards an animal which can result in an unfortunate bite from a dog or cat.
7. SYMPTOMS - Your pet's indiscretion in what he or she ate can result in a number of digestive issues. Pancreatitis is extremely common and may not set in for several days. Common symptoms of illness can vary from vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lack of energy or a bloated, distended look to the belly. Call your veterinarian immediately if you have concerns on your pet's health or behavior.
8. EMERGENCY CONTACTS - Have your pet's veterinarian and emergency contact phone numbers posted in a visible, easily accessed place. In situations of an emergency or of serious question, we often get flustered. Being prepared before hand will allow for quick action. A pet poison helpline is recommended as well. Not surprisingly, phone calls to pet poison centers increase by 20% - 30% over any given holiday. The ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 is highly recommended.
9. HALLOWEEN FUN - Even if you're grown up, you probably get a happy tingle from this haunting holiday, but pets sometimes find it truly scary. Do your best to make it fun and happy for them as well! Special dog and cat Halloween treats can be purchased to keep them entertained. Bobbing for carrots and a treasure hunt are creative games for your pets and their doggy friends. Pet Halloween costume photos are great fun and memorable too. Whatever you choose for your furry family member this Halloween, keep it safe, keep it simple. They'll love you for it.