Halloween is coming

October is coming. And besides being a great time for tasty fall fruits and veggies (My feathered friends rejoice! It’s pomegranate season!) October is also Halloween season. That means decorations, treats, and a night full of visitors; all potential hazards for pets like us.

Some dangers to watch out for this month:

Chocolate and treats:

Most of you know to stay away from the chocolate (except for a certain knuckle head dog I know). But what about the other candy handed out? A lot of candy contains xylitol, a common artificial sweetener. Both ingredients can cause vomiting and diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. So stay away from all of it. If you do get into any of those colorful wrapped treats laying around, have your human call the vet right away.

Costumes:

Some humans might want to dress you up for the holiday. Don’t panic! Costumes can be kind of fun and can lead to treats. But if it’s not your thing – tell your human that you would prefer to go al naturale. But if you want to give it a try, remind your human to have you do a trial run with the costume beforehand. You need to test the fit and make sure that it doesn’t impede your movement, eyesight or hearing. Also point out any dangling bits that might tempt you into chewing on them throughout the night.

Decorations:

At the end of the month your human is going to insist on decorating the house and not letting you play with any of it. And for a good reason. These decorations are just as dangerous as the ones that come out for Christmas time (more on those in a couple of months). Besides getting caught in fake spider webs and electrical cords (Keep in mind that your costume will probably make you wider than normal), make sure to not chew on them. In fact, let’s keep all decorations away from your mouth. Decorations can cause everything from drooling to stomach problems and blockages. Even pumpkins and dried corn cobs can cause upset stomach and vomiting. And part of the pumpkin decorations is a candle. If you try to play with the pumpkin you might end up starting a fire. Remember, feathers and fur are very flammable! The safe bet is to steer clear of all the decorations.

Stranger Danger:

I’m as social as the next parrot, but there comes a point where visitors become stressful and it becomes time for me to get some quiet, alone time. Halloween is one of those days that there are too many people coming to the door. If you get nervous or stressed out around visitors tell your human to keep you separated from all the activity in a quieter part of the house. And no matter how stressed you get, stay away from the front door! It is not any better out there.

Have a safe and fun Halloween! And try to enjoy your costume – it will make your human happy.

About me…

I’m a 24 year old Senegal parrot. As with any creature as small as I am, I have a big attitude and know how to get what I want. I share my home with my human servant Megan and her Australian Shepherds, whom I torment to my heart’s content. Coming from a rescue, my history is a little bit of a mystery. My early life has caused me to be a picker, but it doesn’t matter too much – I know I’m gorgeous!

Have a question for me? You can contact me through my secretary, Megan at meganvd@santarosavet.com or you can call one of my staff members at your friendly Veterinary Hospital – the Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital.