South Florida veterinarian provides tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween

WILTON MANORS, Fla. – Spooky season is here, which for us humans, means time to get into cool costumes, scare the heck out of everybody and eat lots of candy.

But those three things happen to be hair-raising, pine-chilling and just dreadful when it comes to our pets!

“Be sensitive. Some dogs get very scared with some costumes, so you don’t want them to run away and get hit by a car,” said Dr. Patricio Casali, of Wilton Manors Animal Hospital.

Casali warns pet parents of the possible hazards of getting that perfect picture.

“If you like to dress your dog -- I understand we all like it -- but make sure that they can breathe, make sure that they can move and make sure that they can go to the bathroom,” Casali said.

And it’s no laughing matter when it comes to kiddos sharing some of the sweet treats they score as they go door-to-door with their furry best friend.

“Don’t give your dog any chocolates or candies,” Casali warns. “Chocolate, you know, it can be toxic for some dogs. Xylitol, it’s a very toxic substance that comes in candy, sugar-free candy and gum.”

It’s best to keep the candy up high on the counter, out of the reach of your pets, as you know they’ll be tempted! And get the fake pumpkins in case your pet wants to eat your jack-o-lantern.

The spooky scares and holiday haunts have been known to send meek munchkins running, so it is imperative that your pet wear a collar with tags and hopefully be microchipped too.

“A tag is very important because the person that finds the dog can contact the owner. And a microchip is important because it goes under the skin so whoever finds that dog, they can take it to a clinic,” Casali said.

And when it comes time for the trick or treating on the 31st...

“Put the dog in a back room and wait until the next day to go out,” Casali suggested.

It may not be the best time to go out for a walk.

And if Halloween is just too overwhelming, don’t worry, stay home!

As for the most common emergency vet visit on Halloween?

It’s usually for vomiting or diarrhea.

Casali suggests keeping hydrogen peroxide and a plastic syringe on hand at all times.

If your pet has eaten something toxic, the hydrogen peroxide will induce vomiting to get it out.

You just have to go online to see how much to administer based on your pet’s weight.

Do this if you cannot get to a vet immediately.

About the Author:

Jacey Birch anchors Local 10 News Mornings each weekday from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. She is also proud to be the animal advocate for Local 10's investigative team.