PORTLAND, Ore. -- Halloween is a favorite holiday for many, but for pets, it can be a frightening experience.
"Problems can arise for pets when their environments and routines change suddenly," said Dr. Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh, a veterinarian at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. "Candy, costumes, trick-or-treaters, candles and decorations are foreign and possibly dangerous to pets during this occasion."
DoveLewis shared five potential Halloween hazards to be aware of this holiday:
1. No candy
Don't forget, chocolate is toxic to pets. But that's not the only sweet that can cause problems. Lollipop sticks, plastic parts and wrappers can create intestinal obstruction. In severe cases, it can even rupture your pet's intestines.
2. Trick-or-treaters are scary
Those candy-seeking little ones are adorable. But to pets, they can seem like a threat, causing your pet to feel like their territory is being invaded. Keep your pets indoors, secure and away from trick-or-treaters. If your pet is in a secluded area of your home, it will be able to stay calm and prevent it from scaring or biting little kids in scary costumes. It will also prevent your pet from escaping your home and darting outside.
If you're going trick-or-treating, don't take your dog! Even if your dog is typically calm, it could still get spooked by the excited shrieks of little children and all those strange, unfamiliar costumes. Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification, just in case it does escape.
3. Costumes are the worst
You may enjoy wearing a costume. Your child might think it's the best. But for your pet, there's nothing fun about it. If you simply can't resist and must dress up your pet, don't leave it alone or unsupervised. Pets can chew up their outfits and eat them, which can cause intestinal obstruction.
If your pet escapes while wearing a costume, the costume could get caught on trees, fences or bushes and your pet could be hurt or get stuck in the process.
4. Candles are a bad idea
Candles can be extremely dangerous for pets. Don't leave lit candles around the house, especially if you're leaving your home. Even if the candle is inside a pumpkin, it's still a bad idea. Make sure your pet has no access to lit candles, even if you're home.
5. Decorative lights can kill
Think about it: One dangerous chewing session could be dangerous or even deadly.
If your pet does get injured or sick from any of these hazards, make sure to seek medical attention immediately.