Lesia Shannon Kudelka
Communications Director and Ombudsman
Counsel to Office of Communications
TRICK or TREAT?
This time of year, sweet treats are everywhere! Most people know that chocolate is toxic for pets, but did you know these foods are harmful too?
With temperatures dropping, you may be prepping for icy weather, stocking up on cold remedies and getting your family ready for the holidays, but keep in mind some of these items can be hazardous to your pet.
These are some tips to keep your furry friend safe:
Antifreeze is deadly. Once the first cold spell hits, many of us race to prepare our cars. No one wants to get caught off guard by an early winter storm. But please remember that antifreeze and pets don't mix. This toxic chemical tastes sweet, so pets are inclined to lick it up when spilled. Just one teaspoon can kill a cat and two teaspoons can kill a dog. After taking care of your car, be sure to take care of your pets by storing antifreeze safely out of reach. Also, check the surrounding area to be sure no antifreeze has spilled on the pavement.
Rodenticides can be unsafe. Be careful if you use rodenticides to keep pests from seeking warmth or looking for food in your house. Designed to lure and eliminate rodents, rodenticides may appeal to a pet's sense of smell and curiosity. If your pets find birds, squirrels, or rats poisoned by rodenticides, they may inadvertently be exposed. When using rodenticides or pesticides, follow the instructions carefully, read all labels, and take every precaution to ensure your pets won't be harmed by these potentially dangerous chemicals.
Candy is off-limits. According to the ASPCA® Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), Halloween candy and other decorative holiday items can make pets sick. Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, is dangerous for both dogs and cats. Candy or gum containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage if eaten by your pets. Also, while decorative pumpkins and corn are relatively nontoxic, they can upset your pet's stomach if ingested.
If your pet takes a turn for the worst, call your veterinarian or your nearest emergency clinic as soon as possible. Be prepared to tell staffers the following:
The veterinarian may ask you to take your pet to the veterinarian hospital as soon as possible. Animal emergency rooms see more of this problem at Halloween than at any other time of year.