Pet Halloween Safety
Halloween should be a fun and exciting time for people and pets alike! However, it's important to remember that while we may enjoy the spooky atmosphere and seasonal treats, some of the things involved in our festivities can be scary or even dangerous to our pets. Follow these simple tips to help ensure that your furry friends stay safe this Halloween.
Tricks: Remember that costumes and scary decorations may be fun for us, but they can be frightening for pets who don't understand the concept of Halloween. If your pet is startled or stressed by people in costumes or Halloween decorations than it's important to try to keep their stress levels down. Making a safe place, like a room in your house, for your pet where he/she can go to escape the excitement of the holiday is a good idea. Keep the room decoration free and don't allow people in costumes to enter. Keep things as normal as possible for your pets to reduce as much stress as possible.
Treats: Things that make great treats for humans, like chocolates and candies, can be dangerous for your pet. Chocolate is toxic to many animals including dogs and cats. Other types of candies may contain harmful ingredients or pose other dangers such as choking. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener is toxic, for example. Sugar, while not toxic to pets, can cause stomach upsets. If you'd like to treat your pet for Halloween, stick to safe and healthy treats made especially for your pet.
Decoration safety: Keep things like candles, wires, and pumpkins out of pets reach. Your pets may be attracted to these novel items and confuse them for fun new toys. Knocked over candles or chewed up cords can pose fire or electrocution risks. Decorations with small parts or parts that can be chewed off can pose the risk of chocking or impaction if your pet gets their teeth on them.
Costume safety: Pets can look adorable in costumes, but not all of them enjoy playing dress-up. Keep pet costumes simple and comfortable. Costumes should not interfere with your pets moment, eyesight, or hearing. Keep your pet's face and mouth free so that they are able to normally vocalize and of course breathe. Costumes should not have small parts that your pet might chew or hanging pieces that could get tangled around your pet. If your pet doesn't enjoy dressing up, it's probably better to keep them costume free. Or consider a very simple "costume" like a decorative collar, leash, harness, or bandana.
Stranger safety: During trick-or-treat hours, it might be best to keep your pet closed in his/her safe room. Numerous strangers dressed up in costumes can be stressful to your pet. If your pet is friendly and doesn't seem to be bothered by the many visitors, it's important to keep an eye on them while opening the door to make sure they don't run out. Remember that not everyone has the best intentions on Halloween. Keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don't fall into the wrong hands.
ID's: Keep ID tags on your pets just in case they do accidentally get out. ID tags should be clear and easy to read. Replace old, outdated, and/or unreadable ID tags as soon as possible.