Halloween Pet Tips
Halloween is so much fun! Dressing up and pretending to be whatever your heart desires. Who can resist getting to eat yummy candy! Halloween can be lots of fun for you and your family but it may be a nightmare for your pet. With Halloween quickly approaching, it is a good time to mention some safety tips.
Chocolate is a big NO for dog and cats! Even if your pet is begging for a taste of your chocolate don’t give it to them. Why? Chocolate is toxic to pets. Especially dark chocolate, it can be very dangerous for cats and dogs. It is best to keep your candy some where they cannot get at it. If you think your pet may have eaten some chocolate tell an adult family member and call a veterinarian immediately.
Sugar-free candies containing artificial sweetener with xylitol can cause serious problems in pets too. It is best to just keep your candy somewhere safe where you pets cannot get to it. If you suspect your pet has ingested some candy, please tell a family member and have them call your pets’ veterinarian.
Another fun part of Halloween is putting up some cool silly or spooky decorations! When you do decorate your home, keep your pets safety in mind. Some pets like to chew on decoration, so keep wires tucked away and foam or shiny or small decorations where your pets can’t get to them.
If you carved a jack-o-lantern and want to put a candle in it, remember pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious puppies and kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by a candle flame. A safer option to consider is using a battery operated tea light.
If you are going to be passing out candy, you may want to consider putting your pet in another room. Halloween is a very busy time with many activities and lots of visitors arriving at the door, and too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. Even a super well behaved trained dog can have a bad moment. It is better to be safe than sorry and keep them in a separate room away from the front door during the most busy trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and tags with your name and phone number. If for any reason they escape, a collar with ID tags or a microchip can be a lifesaver for getting your pet back to you safely.
This time of the year some bad people can harm your pet. Unfortunately, cruel pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. To be safe, keep your pets inside and when they do go out to do a potty keep a close eye on them. If you have a black cat, or even a dark gray one, that is permitted to go outside the ASPCA recommends keeping close tabs on them during the days and weeks leading up to Halloween. If possible, keep them indoors to prevent them from being the victim of any prank. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related occurrences. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause stress. The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know they love it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight, ability to breathe (bark or meow). Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed, they make like to wear a festive bandana instead. Never leave a pet alone in a costume. Why? They can get tangled up in or get their costume caught on something and it can be very scary and hurt your pet.
If they are accompanying you on your trick or treat adventure, you should consider putting reflectors on yourself and your pet, to make yourselves more visible in the darker parts of the street. Make sure your pet has on a leash and the proper ID tags on their collar. Scan the ground that you are walking on so you can avoid dropped candy your pet may want to eat. Watch out for lit pumpkins or candles around walkways, this could be a potential fire hazard for a pet in a costume.
If you remember these safety tips you and your pet will have a safe and Happy Halloween.