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Keep Furry Friends Safe
It's okay to get your dog or cat in on Halloween festivities -- just keep their safety in mind with these basic dos and don'ts to ensure a frightfully fun night for all.
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You don't have to leave pups at home when you go trick-or-treating, but "be sure equipment fits your dog's size and needs," says Emily Weiss, an animal behaviorist with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Harnesses are a good choice for dogs who pull while on the leash because they minimize the risk of throat injuries, especially for smaller breeds. A regular flat-buckle collar is fine for a calm dog. A martingale-style collar -- a humane alternative to chain collars -- can't slip off and offeres extra security for an energetic dog.
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Keep your candy for trick-or-treaters in candy dishes that are not accessible to your climbing cats. The colorful foil can cut your pet's mouth and pose a choking hazard.
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Found in candies, gum, baked goods, and toothpaste, the sweetener xylitol can cause an insulin surge, lowering blood sugar enough to cause weakness, vomiting, and loss of coordination in pets. It could even lead to liver failure. Any exposure can cause problems, but the more your pet consumes, the more severe the issues will be.
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No Chocolate for Fido
Don't cave in to those adorable eyes when your pet is begging for treats on Halloween. "Some foods cause problems ranging from gastrointestinal issues to death," says Diane Levitan, a veterinarian in Syosset, New York. Chocolate, for example, contains a substance called theobromine, along with caffeine, which makes it toxic to dogs and cats. Read on for some pet-friendly alternatives to Halloween treats that you can make yourself.
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This cleverly shaped cookie is made from nutritious ingredients, including brewer’s yeast and wheat germ, so it's a treat that both you and your pet can feel good about.