Originally published by Trupanion, Inc.
As Halloween approaches, Trupanion, a leader in medical insurance for cats and dogs, scanned its database of more than 750,000 pets and found that historically there is a noticeable increase in chocolate toxicity claims beginning now through the end of the year. In some years, toxicity claims have spiked more than 70% at Halloween.
Trupanion has paid claims for toxicity treatment in the $7,000 to $8,000 range in severe cases. However, the average costs of common Halloween toxicity claims pet parents could experience are $500 (chocolate), $650 (raisin), and $725 (xylitol).
Given that spooky fact, Trupanion recommends that pet parents keep any candy or treats they may have around for Halloween in a safe place that is not accessible by their pet.
Here are 5 tips on how to keep your pets safe this Halloween from Dr. Sarah Nold, staff veterinarian at Trupanion. PLUS: some fun Halloween-inspired pet names!
1. Keep your pets away from: Chocolate, Raisins, Xylitol
“Chocolate contains a naturally occurring stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine,” said Dr. Sarah Nold, staff veterinarian at Trupanion. “If enough theobromine is ingested, it can be toxic to dogs and cats.”
Signs of chocolate toxicity can include vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate, and seizures. Also, chocolate is more dangerous for a smaller dog because they don’t have to ingest as much as a larger dog to cause toxicity. Pet owners should also keep treats containing the sugar substitute xylitol away from their pets. Xylitol causes a very low blood sugar that can result in weakness, collapse, and seizures.
We’ve all seen those adorable pets dressed in their Halloween costume – they’re irresistible! Just make sure they are comfortable wearing a costume, and the get-up you choose is not annoying or unsafe for your furry friend. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween.
3. Pumpkin candles and decorations
Candles may bring an extra glow to that jack-o-lantern, but make sure they are not in reach of your dogs and cats. Flames can easily find wagging tails and curious noses. Also, keep your pet away from any maize or corn decorations.
4. Trick or Treat Visitors
One of the best things about the Halloween is all of the trick or treaters that grace your front doorstep, but all of the added commotion and noise can be stressful to family pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours.
5. Keep your pet visible and identifiable
Never leave your pet unsupervised, but in case your dog or cat does manage to dart outside, make sure they have on a reflective collar with proper identification for the pet in case they get lost.
PLUS – Halloween-inspired names
For some, the love of Halloween runs deeps. So deep that pet parents will name their pet with a nod to this trick-or-treat season. Some of the top Halloween-inspired pet names haunting the Trupanion database include: