Halloween is a night of spooks, scares, and lots of fun for children and adults, alike. For our pets, though, Halloween can be a little different. Our dogs, cats, and maybe even hamsters, suddenly have to deal with being dressed up in costumes, having strangers around, and seeing creepy decorations. Of course, there’s also the smell of delicious chocolate and candy in the air. To help take the scariness out of Halloween for your furry friends, follow these simple, common sense precautions from ASPCA and PetMD for the Halloween season. These Halloween pet safety tips will not only keep your furry friends safe, but happy, as well.
Halloween Pet Safety Tips
1\ Hide the Trick-or-Treat Candy
The candy bowl is for the trick-or-treaters, not for your pets. All forms are chocolate can be very harmful to cats and dogs. Sugar-free candies that contain artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause serious harm to pets. Make sure that the candy bowl is in a place that your pets cannot reach it at all times. The ASPCA recommends that if you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic to immediately call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
You can always have a little DIY fun and make special Halloween treats for your dog or cat! There are plenty pet safe Halloween treat ideas on Pinterest, so search around.
2\ Keep Pumpkins, Corn, and Gourds Out Of Reach
Although relatively nontoxic, Halloween plants, such as pumpkins, corn, and gourds, can produce stomach upset in pets if eaten. Additionally, it’s important to keep lit pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns out of reach. If they get too close to a lit pumpkin, they may get burnt or even knock the pumpkin over and start a fire.
3\ Be Mindful of Decorations and Keep Wires Out Of Reach
Halloween decorations have many components, like glass and plastic, that if chewed, could hurt your pet. Wires could end with your pet receiving a life-threatening electrical shock.
4\ Don’t Leave Pets in the Yard for Halloween
With so many strangers passing by your yard on Halloween, you never know how people or your dog will reach. PetMD even explained that surprisingly, pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night.
5\ Keep Pets Away From the Door on Halloween
Under the same notion, keep your pets in a safe area inside that’s away from the front entrance where the trick-or-treaters will come. The door will be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, with strangers dressed in unusual costumes. This is a recipe to scare your furry friend. Not only will it help keep your dog or cat from becoming anxious, but it will also keep them from possibly sneaking outside by accident.
6\ Keep Outdoor Cats Inside Several Days Before and After Halloween
Getting your outdoor cats indoors with plenty of time can help prevent against the issues mentioned previously. PetMD mentioned that black cats are particularly at risk of pranks.
7\ Be Careful with Pet Costumes and Try Them On Before Halloween
For some pets, wearing a costume can cause stress. The ASPCA and PetMD recommends not putting your dog or cat in a costume unless you know they’ll love it. The costume should not limit your pet’s movement, sight, or ability to breathe, bark, or meow. The costume should be checked over for small, dangling pieces that can easily be chewed off to ensure there are no choking hazards.
Don’t leave trying on your dog or cat’s costume until the big night. Let them be acquainted and get used to the costume beforehand. If they show any sign of not liking the costume, let them go without it. There are always cute festive bandanas they can wear instead!
8\ Pets Should Be Easily Identifiable
As a worse case scenario, make sure your pet is wearing his collar and ID tags. This is very important for getting your furry friend back to his or her proper home if anything does happen unexpectedly.