Tip of the Month

10/17/2011 Halloween Holiday Hazards

During the holidays it is extremely important for a Veterinary Assistant to know all of the hazards that can occur to the family pets. Knowledge is power and if pet owners are educated, they can make sure their pets have a safe, fun, and happy holiday season.

Halloween is an extremely important holiday to be educated on as there is a large amount of candy that is circulating the family home. Many Halloween treats, mainly chocolate, can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Candy should be kept in a location where it is not easily knocked over and spilled on the floor, which grants easy access to our furry friends.

Decorations can also be hazardous. Remember to keep open flames out of reach from inquiring noses and paws. A great alternative to candles are electric flameless candles that can be found at all locations that sell Halloween décor. It is also the job of Veterinary Assistant to caution owners on the safety risks of certain décor like cotton spider webs and their plastic spiders. These tend to be of interest to cats and dogs. The suggestion should be made that these decorations should be hung at a high enough location that the family pets are unable to reach.

A fun toy to play with during the holiday season is silly string. Silly string is known to be poisonous to ingest. This is why it is very important for the Veterinary Assistant to caution pet owners about this hazard. This product should be cleaned up after the festivities are completed and kept away from pets in the home. Be mindful of your four legged family members whenever you are having a holiday party or fun festivities. Pets should be kept in a location away from the front door, since during Halloween the door is likely to be opened frequently and possibly for long periods of time. Frightening costumes and loud noises could scare your pet and cause them to flee or suffer from noise fright.

As much as we humans love to dress up for Halloween, our domesticated partners may not be so thrilled. Owners will need to be considerate of their pets’ comfort and health. Some costumes are known to be constricting and uncomfortable to pets. Little Fluffy should not be made to wear something that could cause her harm. If you do decide to place your pet in a costume, it should be checked to make sure that it does not fit too tightly or agitate your furry friend.

Sadly, another big thing to remember is that all cat owners should keep their feline companions inside on Halloween. Cats are known to disappear on this holiday, so pet owners should err on the cautious side and keep them in for the night. Client education is a very large role to a Veterinary Assistant and should be considered one of the top tasks to be completed on or near any major holiday.

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