Pet Safety for Scare Season

U.S. consumers spend more than $7 billion on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations during the Halloween season, exposing pets to more toxins and hazards than any other time of the year. To help prepare for the imminent dangers that surround our pets during the scare season, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, has released its 2015 Top Halloween Pet Dangers and Safety Tips.

Toxic Dangers

Emergency calls to the Pet Poison Helpline increase 12 percent during the week of Halloween, making it the busiest time of the year.  Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 550,000 insured pets to determine the most common ingestion related claims in the month of October. Following are the top Halloween related claims and their average cost for treatment:


             Claim                                                                                        Average Cost

Ingestion of Costume Parts                                                                    $1,740

Raisin Toxicity                                                                                           $527

Chocolate Toxicity                                                                                   $382

Chewing Gum and Candy (containing Xylitol) Toxicity                    $354

Upset Stomach / Diarrhea                                                                      $272


If a pet consumes a toxic treat or a foreign body, he or she should be taken to a veterinary hospital immediately. In preparation, pet lovers should locate the nearest 24-hour emergency animal hospital prior to the night of Halloween or any other major event.

Running Away

Halloween is the second most common holiday for pets to wander off (behind the Fourth of July) and become separated from their families. With multiple visits from friendly trick-or-treaters and constant commotion outside, Halloween night can be extremely stressful for pets. It’s best to keep pets indoors so they’re not tempted to flee from noise created by guests, sound effects, music and, of course, the doorbell. It’s important to provide pets with a safe and quiet place indoors to help them rest and cope with their holiday anxiety.  Remember to keep collars with ID tags on your pets and have them microchipped just in case they wander away.

Costume Safety

U.S. pet owners spend more than $370 million on pet costumes annually, and while dressing up pets for Halloween is fun, it can be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. If your pet does don a costume this Halloween, make sure to never leave him or her alone. Be precise with the size of the costume. Poorly fitted costumes can constrict pets and lead to panic or injury. Also take note of costumes with ribbon, strings or dangling objects that can lead to choking or strangulation.  If a pet begins to itch excessively, be sure to remove the costume as allergies from fabric, detergents or fabric softeners can cause a rash.


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