Halloween Is For Kids, Not Pets
I’ll be the grinch who steals Halloween. Have fun this Halloween; enjoy the parties, decorating, trick or treating or whatever, but consider leaving your pets out of it…for their own health and safety. Putting your dog or cat in costume for a quick photo op should be the extent of it.
YEAH, COSTUMES ARE CUTE, BUT…
While we think Boomer in a tutu is just the most adorable thing, most pets don’t like being dressed up. Clothing is uncomfortable, confining, affects their tactile abilities, feels alien, smells funny, and is a departure from their routines.
Things like tight elastics can cause limbs to “fall asleep” affecting mobility and scaring the bejeebers out of an animal that has never experienced this sensation.
A costumed pet could end up close and personal with a Jack-O-Lantern, becoming a crispy critter as he flees in terror and fans the flames. Or, a frightened pet could become an escapee and end up entangled in brush and shrubbery, or entrapped by fences, sheds and vehicles they try to hide under.
A costumed pet left alone for a few minutes could chew and swallow parts of the costume causing a GI blockage or cuts, abrasions or punctures anywhere along the digestive tract.
If you must dress your pet up for the occasion, try it on him beforehand. If he seems distressed, seems to be having an allergic reaction, or shows any uncharacteristic behavior, let him wear just his birthday suit, or maybe a festive bandana.
There's A Lot To Consider
Whether complete strangers or folks the pet knows, the sight of people in costume can be frightening to pets. It's not fair to the pets to subject them to such frightening experiences.
What's more, their response is unpredictable. If they respond aggressively, everyone in the immediate vicinity is in danger.
Fear biting can be extremely violent, and small children make for an easy target.
The constant ringing of the doorbell, the loud sounds made by excited children, the music or ghoulish sounds that are part of their costume, can all be stressful to pets.
While the response may be one of cowering, and not aggression, you could still wind up dealing with messy intestinal and bladder episodes, too.
Pets that are crated could injure themselves trying to escape that which torments them.
Oh, The Candy And Other Treats!
We all know that chocolate is toxic to dogs. As a refresher, a 50 lb. dog would have to ingest about 50 ounces of milk chocolate, but only 5 ounces of baking chocolate to consume a toxic dose. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.
Sugar free treats, including candy, baked goods, gum and mints sometimes contain the artificial sweetener xylitol which is extremely toxic to dogs and possibly other species. It causes a rapid drop in blood sugar and liver failure.
Some treats, such as lollipops and novelties, have sticks and other non-food parts, as well as cellophane or foil wrappers which can be ingested, again raising the possibility of GI abrasions, lacerations, punctures, or blockages.
More On Pet Safety
- How Pets Face Danger In The 'Hood
Coyotes and other wild animals are getting used to people and their way of life. As they adapt they become bolder, which can spell danger to pets while they're outdoors. This awareness raising article provides food for thought.
- Holiday Parties Mean Danger For Pets
The holiday season can be a particularly dangerous time for pets. Read about things you might not otherwise consider, and how to avoid needless illness or injury to your pets.
- There's Danger In Laser Toys
They've gone from the stuff of science fiction to the stuff we use to amuse ourselves and our pets. They're also used to make us healthier and our jobs easier. Lasers have their dangers, though.
No article about Halloween dangers would be complete without the warning to make sure your pets are indoors and isolated for the festivities.
Being outside could subject them to cruel treatment by those who would do them harm.
Black cats are believed to be especially vulnerable.
Many shelters won’t even allow them to be adopted during Halloween week.
The fear is that some cults will sacrifice them during rituals.
Actually, Halloween isn't the only time cult rituals are performed. They're happening all year long.
The best place for your pet on Halloween is in the house, isolated from all the excitement.
But don’t take my word for it. Just Google “Halloween dangers to pets” and you’ll get about 2.78 million results about 0.38 seconds.
You'll be hard pressed to find one that disagrees.