Keep your pets safe on Halloween

Pet owners like to dress their dogs in Halloween costumes, but should keep a close watch on them to make sure they don't chew up the costumes and ingest material.

ASPCA/Courtesy

Pet owners like to dress their dogs in Halloween costumes, but should keep a close watch on them to make sure they don't chew up the costumes and ingest material.

KINGMAN – It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of Halloween, but pet owners would be wise to follow some precautions.

Of all candy, chocolate is one of the most toxic to pets. Many dogs are inherently attracted to the taste and smell. The chemicals in chocolate that are dangerous to pets, methylxanthines, are similar to caffeine and heavily concentrated in the darker varieties, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.

And if you are going the health route and passing out grapes or raisins, they are extremely hazardous to dogs, according to the PPH. Small amounts can cause kidney failure.

If you put a costume on your pet, make sure they don’t impair their vision, movement or air intake, advises PPH, and take precautions so they don’t ingest their costume.

Don’t be tempted to use dye or coloring to your pets’ fur. Even if the dye is labeled nontoxic to humans, it could still be harmful to pets, says PPH.

Also, candy wrappers can be a hazard, as well as candles, and glow sticks and glow jewelry. “A lot of animals run away on Halloween,” said Cherie Bradley, a technician at Manzanita Animal Hospital in Kingman.

She said pets are not accustomed to the many knocks on the door, traffic and costumes.

When it comes to poisoning, Bradley said Thanksgiving and the holidays tend to be more problematic because people give their pets leftovers, many of which are harmful, such as turkey.

The staff at Manzanita made sure to point out the negative effects of sugar alcohol (xylitol), which is found in sugar-free gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, cough syrup, children’s chewable vitamins, mouthwash, and toothpaste, to name a few. It causes kidney failure and is extremely dangerous to pets, the Manzanita staff said.

It’s never a good idea to assume that what is safe for humans will be safe for your pets.