Halloween is the spookiest night of the year, and a big fun event for families and their pets. However, keeping your pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky. Take these simple safety precautions to keep your four-legged companions happy and healthy all the way on Halloween.
1. Choose a properly fitted and comfortable costume for your pet, without any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing, or moving. Difficulty in mobility can lead to bodily injury.
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. So, don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it.
Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big event. Take time to get your dog or cat accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave a pet unattended while wearing it.
2. Make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag) in case she/he become lost, get spooked by sudden noises and strange-looking costumes, and run away, an ID tag and/or a microchip can help quickly reunite you with your dog or cat.
3. Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol, a sweetener found in many candies, because they can be extremely toxic to pets. Lollipops and their sticks can be choking hazards and cause a painful obstruction or foreign body ingestion. Wrapped candies can also lead to chocking or cause an obstruction and upset stomach. Easy solutions to prevent accidental toxicity or ingestion: give your four-legged friend special pet treats.
4. If you like to decorate your home in the Halloween spirit, take into consideration what you’re putting on display and where the decorations will be placed.
Easy-to-reach decorations, a carved jack-o-lantern, or candles can be eaten or knocked over, potentially leading to a fire, burns, choking, foreign body ingestion and electrical shock. Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
5. Halloween brings a lot of visitors, and too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. If your pet is wary of strangers or has a tendency to bite, take extra precaution on Halloween: put up a baby gate or leave your dog or cat in a back room of the house, or provide him/her with a safe hiding place. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. If you plan on including your pet in neighborhood festivities, escort them outside on a leash.