BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If you're a pet owner, Halloween can be extremely fun when you add in costumes for your fur baby. But it can also be a bit dangerous.
For a list of Halloween events, click here.
The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine offered the following tips for keeping your pets safe during Halloween.
- Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. If you think your dog may have ingested chocolate, signs to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate and in severe cases, seizures. If your dog ingests large amounts of any candy, it can be harmful and lead to pancreatitis, which is potentially fatal. Signs include a decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain and potentially, kidney or organ damage.
- Raisins can be just as toxic as chocolate and can cause kidney failure if even small amounts are ingested. Signs of raisin or grape poisoning include vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, excessive or decreased thirst and urination, bad breath and rapid onset kidney failure.
- Other Halloween hazards include candy wrappers and small toys. These can cause bowel obstruction that may require surgery. Watch for vomiting, decreased appetite, not defecating, straining to defecate, or lethargy. X-rays or even ultrasound may be necessary to diagnose this problem.
- You may want your pet to join in the fun and dress up for Halloween. If so, make sure the costume does not impair your pet’s vision, hearing, movement or air intake and that it does not have small pieces that could be broken off and ingested. Before dying or coloring your pet’s fur, please consult your veterinarian, as some products can be harmful to pets even if they will not harm people.
- If your pet becomes sick or if you think it may have ingested something harmful, contact your veterinarian immediately. Delays in seeking veterinary help may seriously complicate the problem. If your pet requires medical care after-hours, you can bring your pet to the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital on Skip Bertman Drive; the hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and remains open even during holidays and weekends. Please call (225) 578-9600 or go to www.lsu.edu/vetmed/veterinary_hospital for more information.
- You can also contact the Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, at 800-213-6680. The helpline is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $39 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case.
As for people, here are some tips from law enforcement:
- Talk to your children about NOT going anywhere with strangers.
- Set a time for your kids to be home.
- Check the area prior to trick-or-treating for registered sex offenders.
- A parent, or responsible adult, should walk with a child.
- Serve your kids a filling meal before trick-or-treating so they won't be as tempted to eat any candy before they bring it home for you to check.
- Look both ways before crossing the street and only cross at corners or crosswalks.
- Wear light producing or reflective devices such as flashlights, glow sticks, reflective tape, and other similar products to be more visible in the dark.
- Do not approach homes that do not have proper lighting on
- Let your children know not to cut through fields.
- Stay in populated areas.
- Drive below the posted speed limit in residential areas during trick-or-treating hours.
- If at all possible – stay away from clowns! Just kidding, of course.