Halloween’s Most Haunting Pet Health Hazards

By on October 27, 2017
Halloween’s Most Haunting Pet Health Hazards

By Holly Russel –

Ghosts and goblins aren’t the spookiest thing pets encounter during the Halloween season. The hallmarks of the holiday can scare up a bone-load of trouble for furry friends.

With the cost of costumes, candy and decorations continuing to rise and the holiday season right around the corner, pet parents should take caution so a preventable mishap doesn’t end up costing an arm and a leg.

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To help navigate Halloween for furry little friends, Petplan pet insurance staff veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Maniet helped reveal the top three hazards pet parents should beware.

Dangerous Delicacies

Most pet parents know that the theobromine in chocolate poses a threat, but some don’t realize that the candy can affect pets in different ways. The type of chocolate, how much a pet eats and their weight are all factors in how severely toxic chocolate can be.

Here’s how to calculate a pet’s risk:

  1. Multiply the ounces ingested by the milligrams of theobromine per ounce.
  2. Divide that number by the weight of the dog.
  3. The closer the resulting number is to 20, the worse the toxic effects will haunt him.

Milligrams of theobromine per ounce of chocolate

Dark 160mg


Baker’s 450mg

Milk 64mg

Dark chocolate – 160mg

White 1mg

“If a pet ingests any amount of any kind of chocolate, this is an emergency, and it is recommended that your pet seek veterinary care as soon as possible,” says Maniet.

Food poisoning costs pet parents an average of $830 per visit.

Bedazzled Apparel

When dressing best friends, Dr. Maniet says to be sure they can see clearly, move freely and that the costume is free of frills that can be chewed off and swallowed. She also warns that elaborate costumes in warm climates can cause a pet to overheat or become dehydrated.  

“Remember: if a dog feels too constricted in his costume, ditch the threads and take him trick or treating in his one-of-a-kind, no-assembly-required dog suit,” Maniet says.

Foreign body ingestions are consistently in the top 10 claims submitted to Petplan each year and cost an average of $1,872 to treat.

Decorating Disasters

Cobwebs, skeletons and scary noises create a spooky ambiance, but Maniet says to remember that what people find fun can be stressful to pets.

“Avoid using decorations that move or make noise, and think twice before putting up human-like figures that can intimidate pets,” says Maniet. “The hustle and bustle of doorbells ringing and strangers approaching can be frightening enough for some furry friends—adding to the anxiety with alarming adornments will only make their fear worse.”

Anxiety related issues cost an average of $394 to treat, while ailments stemming from an anxious moment can result in fractures ($1,175), bite wounds from other pets ($947) and lacerations ($641) among others.

“Nobody is accident proof, not even our pets,” says Maniet. “It’s best to protect yourself from these costly bills. Consider looking into pet insurance to give your lovable four-legged friends the best possible care they can get, while also protecting your wallet.”


Petplan has built an industry-leading pet insurance policy for pet parents who demand a higher pedigree of care for their best friends. We’ve leveraged 40 years of global experience to create completely customizable coverage pet parents can feel confident in, and world-class claims service that operates 24 hours a day, every day.

Halloween’s Most Haunting Pet Health Hazards

Petplan’s innovative approach to pet insurance has been recognized by Forbes, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Inc. magazine, Smart CEO, the Communicator Awards, Ernst & Young and many others.

Petplan policies are underwritten in the U.S. by XL Specialty Insurance Company and in Canada by XL Specialty Insurance Company-Canadian Branch. The company is rated A+ by S&P (2017). Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. For more information about Petplan pet insurance, visit www.petplan.com or call 1-866-467-3875.


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Halloween’s Most Haunting Pet Health Hazards