Halloween offers a lot of spine-tingling fun for us and our families, but it also presents certain hazards for our pets.
My poor dog Blue is pretty much afraid of everything, so Halloween – with its spooky decorations and costumes – must be his worst nightmare. He will be safely tucked in bed on Halloween to avoid any trauma, but many of you probably have plans for trick-or-treating, holiday parties and other festivities that could involve your pet. Here are some helpful tips on how you can keep your pet safe, relaxed and healthy this Halloween:
Pet costumes: Dogs and cats dressed in Halloween costumes are adorable, but be mindful of the attire you pick for your pet. Avoid tight clothing or straps that might restrict their breathing, and make sure you supervise your pet at all times so they don’t get tangled up in or chew on their costume (this could cause a choking hazard).
Treats: I have to admit that my favorite thing about Halloween is the candy, but some of those tasty treats are toxic to our pets. Chocolate is the obvious danger, but Xylitol, a chemical used to sweeten many candies, can cause low blood sugar or liver failure if your pet consumes even the smallest amount. Keep candy out of your pet’s reach, and keep a watchful eye over your pets if your youngsters like to spread out their sweet treasures on the floor. Wrappers and lollipop sticks pose choking hazards or can cause obstructions, so stash your trash to avoid any accidents.
Trick-or-Treat: Trick-or-treating is a fun family activity, but leave your pets at home. The loud noises and crowds of little people in spooky costumes and masks can give your pet a scare, so they’ll be happier in the safety of their own home. If you have trick-or-treaters coming to your door, keep your pets in a safe, quiet place away from the constant activity. As always, make sure they are wearing proper identification and are microchipped in case they bolt out the open door.
Decorations: Halloween is definitely a fun holiday to decorate for, but those Jack-o-Lanterns, plastic skeletons and cobwebs can be dangerously enticing to our pets. Keep them out of reach if possible, and supervise them at all times. If you have Jack-o-Lanterns, consider using battery-operated candles instead of flame candles, which will be a serious fire danger if your pet knocks them over.
Halloween is one of the spookiest days of the year, but with a few simple precautions it doesn’t have to be scary for our pets. I want to hear from you … do you have a costume planned for your pet this year?