Ghouls, Ghosts, and Goblins, Oh My! Halloween Pet Safety Tips
Scary creatures are coming out of the woodworks for the Halloween holiday, and you may be getting your costume together, too. Halloween is a favorite holiday for many of us, and of course we want to include our furry family members in the festivities.
For many pets, Halloween is actually a stressful event. But with our best tips for keeping your pet healthy and safe, you can help her to enjoy the night (or even let her skip it altogether). Read on for more from Halloween pet safety tips from Huntington Veterinary Hospital.
Halloween Fun and Safety
Some pets are old hands at Halloween and are comfortable with all the goings-on. If that’s the case, let them join in the fun. But don’t forget that all pet owners should be on the lookout in order to prevent dangerous situations for their pets. Watch for:
Jack-o-lanterns – It wouldn’t be Fright Night without a carved pumpkin or two. But if there’s a live flame inside, these can be a hazard for curious pets. Be careful that they don’t get too close, or singed whiskers or other burns could be the result. These decorations should remain outside, and with curious pets, LED lights inside are a good idea.
Chocolate – You’ve likely heard that chocolate is a hazard to pets. If enough is ingested, it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, muscle tremors, and seizures. Xylitol is another common sweetener used in candy and gum, and is also extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. And candy wrappers can cause painful intestinal obstruction. Some pets are really sneaky with the candy, so keep it all out of reach.
Xylitol – Most candies can be considered dangerous for your pets. While some candies may contain Xylitol, a type of sugar-substitute that can be toxic for pets, others may be choking hazards or potential gastrointestinal blockages! Keep your Halloween candy bowls & bags safely out of reach!
Costumes – Perhaps your dog or cat loves the attention of getting dressed up. And it’s true that the internet is awash with cute pets in costume. Again, if your pet is comfortable, by all means, let her participate. But for some pets, costumes can be anxiety producing and stressful. Costumes should also be closely scrutinized to make sure they don’t inhibit vision or breathing. Monitor your pet throughout the night to make sure she’s not overheating in her costume, and provide fresh drinking water often.
Decorations – Electrical cords pose the risk of entanglement, or worse, electric shock if they are chewed (more common than you might think). Keep all decorations well away from pets to avoid an emergency.
Halloween Pet Safety
There are a few things you can do before the big event to make Halloween a safer holiday for pets.
Microchip – If your pet hasn’t had a microchip placed yet, before Halloween is a great time to do so. Many pets go missing on Halloween, a result of being able to easily scoot out the door during trick-or-treating. Some pets may be so anxious with the increased noise and general commotion of the holiday that they jump or dig under fences to escape. A microchip is your pet’s best chance of being reunited with you if they are lost.
Safely indoors – We highly recommend keeping pets inside from prior to dusk and throughout the night. Cats, especially black cats, can become the victims of senseless holiday pranks. And all pets outside are at risk of becoming lost or disoriented.
Create a safe haven. Some pets can happily answer the front door with you all night or walk the neighborhood on the trick-or-treat crawl. But if your pet will likely not enjoy the fun, give her a safe spot in your house to ride out the evening. A laundry room or extra bedroom can work well for this idea. Bring in her bed, favorite toys, treats, and a white noise machine or soft music. Your pet will be away from the dangers of Halloween, and you’ll relax knowing she’s safe.