Halloween Safety for Pets
Fun For Us, Fear For Them
Look at it from their perspective.
Strangers in costumes constantly ringing the doorbell. Strange food in a bucket at the doorstep. Loud noises.
Halloween is one of the most dangerous times of the year for cats and dogs- especially animals with black fur color and only second to Fourth Of July, the holiday when most pets go missing.
Keeping your pet safe during Halloween not only ensures their well being but keeps away the potential for harm or theft of your pet, and cuts your risk of a pet accidentally biting a little Monster or Witch reaching at them.
Some dogs seem to be OK with strangers and can be walked while Trick Or Treating takes place, but animals should always be secured on a leash and held back from unfamiliar children.
Growing up, I had a golden retriever that went with me everywhere- except for Halloween, my parents had the foresight to tell me to keep the dog in the house. I never understood it until I was an adult why my dog wasn't allowed to come with me until I had my own pets and began to understand all the things that could go wrong with taking pets out on Halloween.
Even the best behaved pet can become overprotective or scared on Halloween as their home is swarmed with unfamiliar people. Look at it from their perspective- all year we want our dogs to bark and keep strangers out of the yard and now we are inviting them in. Dogs don't understand the change in behavior and may act out aggressively if they feel their home and family may be threatened.
Safe And Secure
If possible, keep dogs and cats away from the front door.
As it constantly opens, wide enough for little hands to reach into a bowl of brightly packaged treats, a scared dog could easily push past the children and run into the street only to be struck by a car or become lost.
Cats can easily squeeze through an open crack in the door only to take off to face the risk of never making it back home safely again.
Place your pet in a secured room away from the door if possible. Play music or keep on the television to distract them if needed. Keep food and water nearby for your pet to feel comfortable in the room where they will be placed during Trick Or Treating.
Keep dogs and cats inside the house.
If a dog needs to go outside, have them on a leash long enough to do their business and bring them back to their secure room.
Cats should never be outside on Halloween.
Leaving pets alone in the yard sometimes comes to a tragic end where people have fed toxic things to animals or stolen them to be abused elsewhere.
People still do terrible things to animals. Cats and dogs should be kept out of the yard during Trick Or Treating and the yard should be inspected the following day to make sure no toxic treats, pieces of costumes that can become a choking hazard, or egg shells from teenagers pranks remain to keep your pet from ingesting something that could be a vet visit later.
Doggies In Disguise
All pet owners are guilty of putting a costume on our furry friends. What could be cuter than a dog Superman or witch hat perched atop of a fuzzy head.
While most animals don't really care for the costume, adding to the appeal of trying to get them to keep it on long enough to snap a picture, considerations should be made for animal costumes.
Most pet stores are good about costumes that don't contain any small pieces that can be chewed off and ingested. Pet stores usually have costumes that secure around the body with Velcro belts like and are worn like a harness to avoid the pet being tangled and tripping or anything that covers the face that could be a hazard when it comes to breathing.
Only use costumes that are designed for pets and never try to modify human costumes to prevent injuries.
Never use human hair dye on animals. There are some non toxic animal safe dyes that can be used if you have to turn your pet into a colorful masterpiece. Read all the information about how to remove the dye from the pet and make sure to keep them from drinking any of the water as the dye is being washed out. Take care to shield eyes and noses as well to avoid irritation.
Be aware of any chemicals that you are putting on your pet. Animal safe dyes do exist. Be sure to keep the hair dye from getting into ears, eyes, noses, and mouths especially- even if a dye is non toxic. Non toxic does not mean that a pet could not have a possible allergic reaction to the contents of the product.
Sweets Be To The Sweet
A bowl of chocolate smells wonderful to humans, but think about all the fantastic sense of smell that our animals friends have to aid in hunting before they were domesticated.
Chocolate and other treats smell delicious to pets and if you don't believe me, try to eat a chocolate bar sitting between two cats that want a bite of anything I have.
Chocolate can be toxic in even the smallest doses to animals depending on the percent of coca used in the product and should never be given to dogs or cats.
Owners are great about not sharing the goods, but what happens when those great dog noses hunt out trick or treating bags or candy bowls left unattended at the end of the night?
Prevent a potential vet visit or worse by keeping treats away from the resident animals.
With a little extra care, Halloween can be safe to both humans and their animals. We are their protectors.