October is finally here. That means Halloween is right around the corner. We all know what comes with Halloween. The costumes, parties, and of course yummy treats. But, like with any holiday, staying safe is important. Halloween safety is important. We want to make sure all our loved ones are taken care of. That includes our furry family members, too. Chocolate, sour treats, and sweet treats are yummy to us. But, they also entice your furry family members, too.
I must say, our family loves Halloween. We love to decorate, dress up, and of course eat candy. Plus, right before Halloween we get to celebrate Dray’s birthday! But, candy doesn’t just make our mouths water. Our two dogs are famous for licking their lips when they see candy, too. Thankfully my 10 years in the pet industry has opened my eyes to HUGE “no no’s” when it comes to our pets.
For 5 years, I spent time at a local veterinary clinic. Often we had dogs come in that ate something they shouldn’t have. It may have been an object, a plant, or even a pork chop bone. The scary reality is, what we love may not be safe for our dog. There’s one case I saw at the clinic that I will always remember. It was a simple mistake on the pet owner’s behalf. A simple mistake any of us can make.
Buddy was a regular at the vet clinic I worked at. Not because he was sick. It was because his owners traveled often. So, Buddy would use our boarding services on a regular basis. He was a 5 year old, healthy petite Boxer mix. His owners were an older, retired couple. Buddy was wild. But, despite his wild personality, we loved it. So did his owners. We were all aware Buddy received table food at home. His owners would often send him with prepackaged home cooked meals to eat while boarding.
Buddy’s owners had a big trip coming up. So, naturally, he would be staying at the kennel. This trip was longer than their regular weekend getaways. They were traveling to England. So, Buddy would enjoy 15 whole days with us. Which isn’t an issue. I live near a military base. So, military pets boarded for quite a while, quite often. On his first night, I noticed something wasn’t right.
Buddy loved to eat. So, when he refused one of his owner’s famous home cooked meals, I worried a little. By day two, he still refused to eat. That’s when I knew I should bring it to the veterinarian’s attention. She examined him right away. Taking vitals, collecting blood. She even checked a stool and urine sample. Once the initial tests were done, she had to dig deeper.
Abnormal Results Buddy Had
- His bowel movements were runny
- Low temperature
- Abnormal blood levels
The veterinarian decided to do a x-ray. That’s where the problem was found. Buddy had something lodged into his esophagus and stomach. This prompted the doctor to perform emergency surgery on him. She removed many lodged shreds from his organs. As well as a decent sized pork chop bone. Upon talking to Buddy’s owners, they admitted to giving him a pork chop bone the night prior to boarding him.
Unfortunately, the damage was done for Buddy. Shortly after surgery, he got an infection. He bloated and his gums became pale. His treatment was intense. He got IV antibiotics, numerous bags of IV fluids, and constant vital monitoring. Even after his treatment, we still lost him.
Halloween Safety For Pets
Now, Buddy’s outcome is not always the outcome when it comes to dogs eating “no no” items. Take my Siamese cat, Shorty, for example. He ate a ton of my sewing yarn. The first sign was his lack of appetite. Then one day, I saw string hanging out his butt. True story. It took our part time veterinarian over 8 hours removing over a foot of yarn. It was wrapped around his intestines. Cutting off vital blood supply.
Shorty recovered from the whole ordeal. In a record amount of time it seems. You would have never known he enjoyed yarn as an entree. But, as you see, severity varies from case to case. So, it’s important to cover all your bases. It never hurts to have a plan, to be prepared. That’s why Halloween safety for pets is so important.
Dogs and Candy: Sweet Safety Infographic by Orvis.
The infographic above is a great visual tool for Halloween safety. Orvis gives you the facts. Plus, great tips on how to keep your Halloween candy safe. As we enter into the holiday season, remember to protect your furry family members, too.
Make sure you share your holiday pet safety tips below. Especially your Halloween safety tips. The fun night is just around the corner! As a parent, I’m always looking for ways to make sure my whole family is safe during late night trick-or-treating!