Halloween can be the most exciting and spookiest night of the year, but keeping your pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky.
We know this holiday is filled with fun tricks and treats, but it’s important to keep safety in mind for every family member—including your pets. Halloween can pose several potential safety hazards for pets, especially those who tend to experience high levels of stress. Here are five important tips to keep you and your four-legged family members safe and happy this Halloween!
Hide the treats.
Don’t give in to your pet’s sweet and pleading eyes and feed them that fun-sized candy bar. The candy bowl is meant for those adorable trick-or-treaters, not precious Fido. Be mindful that many popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets, and there can be harmful consequences of feeding human food to any animal.
Chocolate can be deadly to a dog, so keep all goodies well out of reach. And remember that sugar-free candies and gum containing the sugar substitute xylitol can also cause serious problems in pets. Be sure to keep the candy bowl hidden from your pets and to reduce temptation, be sure to feed your pet before guests arrive so they will be less likely to beg or steal food. Remind your guests of any house rules regarding your pet, such as not feeding them scraps or other miscellaneous goodies.
Be mindful of décor and wires.
Jack-o-lanterns and festive lights are no doubt festive but remain mindful when displaying décor. Pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire or chew on wires. Curious kitties who have no fear are especially at risk of getting burned by a candle flame.
Trendy Halloween plants such as mums or decorative corn are relatively nontoxic but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who decide to munch on them.
Pet-proofing your home is essential all year long, but especially important during the holidays!
Be careful with costumes.
It is so tempting to dress up your four-legged friend in their own adorable costume. Who can resist a pet in a cute cape or some fairy wings? If you choose to dress your pet in a costume, keep in mind that it’s essential that they are comfortable and can move safely.
Check the costume carefully for small, dangling, or easily chewable pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on objects or even your pet, leading to injury. Avoid costumes that require tying anything around your pet’s neck that can choke them or costumes that hang to the ground that they may stumble over.
Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If they seem distressed or present strange behavior, consider letting your pet go au naturale or sport a fun bandana instead. Most importantly, let your pet be the judge. If they seem to struggle or look uncomfortable, then maybe it’s best to let them stay dressed as their adorable selves instead of a witch.
Make sure your home is a sanctuary for your pet.
Many animals can get stressed with trick-or-treaters constantly ringing the doorbell, guests coming and going, or people continually trying to touch them.
As trick-or-treaters come to your door, there will be many opportunities for your pets to slip out unnoticed. Ensure that your pets always wear current identification tags and consider having your pets microchipped if you haven’t already.
Because of all these factors, it’s best to keep your pets indoors and provide them with a safe, quiet, escape-proof room where they can be removed from the night’s energy and excitement. Be sure they have plenty of food and water, maybe their favorite blanket, and let them relax while you enjoy your night.
Keep a close eye on your pet.
You know your pet better than anyone. If they love the excitement and the hustle and bustle of Halloween, let them enjoy it! However, it’s essential to know the signs of stress in your pet, and if they demonstrate it, get them away from the action.
If you decide to let them be involved in Halloween this year, it’s probably a good idea to prepare some quiet space for them in case they need to be put away quickly.
Halloween, and all the spooky fun and festivities that came with it, are best enjoyed when everyone is safe and happy. Follow these tips, and your pet will have just as much fun as you and your kids this fall!
Be sure to visit our informative news page for more tips and helpful advice to help you and your pets stay safe all season long. For more information and guidance on helping your pets safely enjoy the holiday, make an appointment with the staff at College Road Animal Hospital today.