Tricks, treats, jack-o-lanterns, and witches! Halloween is one of the most popular holidays for humans and many pet owners like to include their pets in the fun! Many of us simply go all out on this spook-tacular holiday. But not everyone – humans and pets alike – find all the goblins and ghouls so thrilling.
Luckily, with our best tips, Halloween safety for pets can be a breeze.
Halloween Fun for Pets
This season, pet owners can prevent dangerous situations for their pets by being mindful and on the lookout for how their pets may get into trouble, in whatever situation they may be in. It’s fine to include your pets in the festivities as long as they are comfortable with the celebrations.
That said, keep the following tips in mind:
Candy. Chocolate and candy that contains Xylitol (a sugar substitute) are the biggest threats to pet safety. When ingested, chocolate can cause diarrhea, vomiting, muscle tremors, weakness, and seizures. Xylitol is found in many sugar-free products, and causes acute liver failure and even death. Contact us right away if you think your pet ingested either. Candy wrappers can cause painful intestinal blockages. Keep a close eye on candy and wrappers that are discarded along the trick-or treat route.
Decorations. Those light up spiders and ghosts are really cool. But electrical cords on your outdoor or indoor decor could pose a risk for your pets. Keep wires out of reach, to prevent entanglement and electric shock. To make sure your pet is safe, keep all decorations away from your pets.
Jack-o-lanterns. Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without a jack-o-lantern or two (or three, or…). Where Halloween pet safety is concerned, carved pumpkins should be left outside throughout the night. A curious pet could easily be tempted to check it out, and be at risk for singed whiskers and burns. A jack-o-lantern that is tipped over can also easily be a fire hazard.
Costumes. There is no shortage of cute Halloween pet costume contests, and social media is full of hilarious images of dachshunds dressed as hot dogs and the infamous golden retriever ghost family. However, make sure your pet enjoys dressing up by practicing well in advance of the holiday. Vision and breathing should never be restricted by even the cutest costume. Take note of your pet’s temperature during the festivities so that they don’t overheat while in costume, and provide plenty of fresh water throughout the night.
Halloween Safety for Pets
Unfortunately, one other safety risk at Halloween is that of pets getting lost. With answering the door frequently for trick-or-treaters, it’s easy for a pet to scoot out unnoticed. And loud noises, parties, and the general commotion of the holiday sometimes scares pets into seeking escape, and they may become lost.
We recommend keeping your pet inside prior to dusk and for the rest of the night. Cats, especially black cats, are at risk for senseless holiday pranks. And all pets are at risk for becoming lost and disoriented.
Before fright night, take the opportunity to double check your pet’s microchip ID number, and ensure it is registered with your correct contact information. If you’ll be taking your dog along on the trick-or-treat route, invest in a reflective collar so drivers and others can easily see her at dusk and at night.
Create a Holiday Safe Spot
It may be that your pet is a halloween pro – they’ve answered the door plenty of times or gone on neighborhood trick-or-treat walks with no anxiety or stress. If that’s the case, take precautions but let them join in the fun.
But if you have a new pet or a pet prone to anxiety in new situations, do them and yourself a favor by creating a sweet spot for Halloween. Choose a quiet room or space in your home, and set them up with their favorite cozy bed, water, treats, toys, soft lighting and even a white noise machine. They’ll be away from the dangers of Halloween, and you can relax knowing they are safe and comfortable.