Halloween can be a fun time for children and adults, but it’s often spooky for our four-legged family members who don’t know what’s going on! Keeping your pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky — follow these safety tips and precautions to keep your animal healthy and happy this Halloween.
No trick-or-treat candies for pets.
Make sure that you stash the Halloween candy somewhere your animals can’t reach, and never feed your pets these kinds of goodies. Chocolate and xylitol are especially toxic for dogs, and candy wrappers or lollipop sticks pose a choking hazard or stomach obstruction for cats and dogs alike. Instead, keep pet-safe treats on hand to satisfy your animal. If you have young children in or around your home, be sure to teach them that candies are not for pets.
Keep animals indoors.
Unfortunately, there have been reports of mean-spirited pranksters that inhumanely tease, injure, or even kidnap pets on Halloween night. Prevent any possible danger to your furry friend by keeping them indoors.
- Before Halloween: Help your outdoor animals acclimate by keeping them indoors during the days leading up to October 31. Make sure that any lit candles or jack-o-lanterns are out of their reach; curious dogs and cats are at risk of getting burned by the flame, or accidentally knocking them over and starting a fire.
- During Halloween: Animals may become anxious and skittish when the doorbell is constantly ringing and several strangers keep coming to your door. Provide a safe and stress-free environment for your pet in a secure room where they will not be disturbed by the foot traffic and commotion, and where they will not have the opportunity to dash out the front door. If you plan to bring your pets trick-or-treating with you, keep them on a very short, secure leash with a reflective collar and harness as a safety precaution.
- After Halloween: It’s wise to keep your outdoor pets inside for a few more days after Halloween to help them re-adjust and transition. Be sure to clean up any Halloween decorations you may have around or outside your home — paper streamers, fake cobwebs, plastic spiders and other decor can be easily chewed and swallowed, damaging your pet’s digestive tract.
Select costumes with care and caution.
If you are planning on dressing up your furry family members, find a safe costume that fits well and does not restrict their normal movements, vision or breathing. Pets can get tangled in costumes with lots of ties and strings, and there is a risk of choking on small costume parts if your pet loves to chew. Be sure to have them try on their costumes before Halloween — if your animal is distressed, allergic, or shows abnormal behavior, wearing the costume may only cause them undue stress. Consider a simple bandana as a safe alternative.
Always supervise your pet when he or she is costumed.
Have up-to-date contact information for your pet and vet.
It’s always a good idea to outfit your pet with a collar and up-to-date identification tags. If your cat or dog is not microchipped, now is a great time to do so. If they already are, be sure to keep your contact information current. Should your pet somehow become lost, an ID tag and/or microchip may help quickly reunite you with your loved one.
Make sure you have the information for your family veterinarian easily available, and locate your closest 24-hour veterinary clinic beforehand. In the case of an emergency, it will allow you to act quickly.
Written by Joanna Wong, Email Marketing Manager of Core Paws