While Halloween is a night of frightful fun for human beings, it can be a stressful and frightening event for our animal friends.
Protect your pets by following these simple tips to keep pets safe at Halloween:
Give your pet some space
If you plan on answering the door for trick-or-treaters, there will be plenty of opportunities for your pet to slip past you and run off into the night. Prevent this by putting your pet in a safe, quiet room away from the front door.
Likewise, pets and parties don’t mix, so if you’re hosting a night of Halloween festivities with your friends, keep your best friend (your furry one, that is) somewhere separate.
If you’re going out trick-or-treating, reconsider bringing your dog with you. The sight and smell of groups of unfamiliar people in costumes and masks as well as moving or scary Halloween decorations can be frightening and stressful for them, and the risk that they’ll break free and get lost is high.
Keep candy away from pets
Candy is a delectable treat for human beings, but for pets it can be poison. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats and the sweetener xylitol is toxic to dogs. Pets of any size can potentially choke on candy wrappers and gum. Keep pets safe by keeping candy out of reach.
If you have pets and young children, make sure you don’t leave them together unattended with candy in the room, or your kids may accidentally poison your pets by innocently sharing their treats.
If you notice your dog or cat showing symptoms of poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, or seizures, contact an emergency veterinary or poison control center immediately. If you live in the United States, you can contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888-426-4435.
Keep pets away from decorations
Halloween decorations can be just as dangerous to pets as candy. Glow stick fluid and fake blood are toxic, small objects and bits of pumpkin can be choking hazards, fake cobwebs and light strings can entangle animals, and candles are a fire hazard. Decorations can also make your home unfamiliar, which can make dogs and cats uncomfortable. Introduce your pets to decorations carefully and over time, and never leave pets alone with decorations.
Use caution with pet costumes
Ensure that any costume you put on your pet doesn’t hinder your pet’s movement in any way or pose the possibility of tripping them. Never cover up your pet’s eyes, ears, mouth or nose as the loss of the use of their senses can frighten and upset them. If you wouldn’t put it on a toddler, don’t put it on a pet: avoid costumes with small pieces that your pet can choke on. If your pet shows signs of discomfort or loss of mobility, take the costume off right away.
All in all, it’s better to be safe than sorry with your pets. They’re part of the family, after all, and they deserve to enjoy the Halloween festivities alongside you, their best friend and protector. Keep them safe, and happy Halloween!