NEW YORK (MainStreet) – With the exception of a creepy costume or a well-done haunted house, Halloween is rarely a truly scary experience for the average person. But things are a bit different for dogs and other pets.
Pet health insurance company PetPlan looked at its claims data and found the week around Halloween to be among the most dangerous times of year for pets. As you might expect, candy is the biggest culprit – claims related to candy ingestion rise 284% in the week following the holiday, and the average vet bill will run you around $500. As most dog owners know, chocolate is poisonous to dogs, and according to the company, an ounce of dark chocolate can poison a 50-pound dog. So when your kids dump out their candy haul at the end of the night, be sure keep the dog out of the room.
Candy isn’t the only peril for pets on Halloween, though. Those wrappers can cause intestinal obstruction, which is painful (for the pet) and pricey (for the owner). Raisins, while healthy for kids, are also poisonous for dogs, potentially causing kidney failure. And unless you have a very well-behaved animal, PetPlan recommends locking it in a comfortable room to make sure it doesn’t run out the door every time a trick-or-treater shows up.
Finally, a word about costumes. Americans love to dress up their pets for Halloween, and the National Retail Federation projects that we’ll spend more than $300 million on pet costumes, from pumpkins to hot dogs to little doggy bowties. But take care to make this a pleasant experience for your dog. PetPlan says that pet owners should make sure their dog’s vision is clear and that there are no frills or small parts of the costume that it could bite off and choke on. And even if it’s fairly cool where you live, remember that your dog can easily overheat inside its costume.
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