Halloween can be the spookiest night of the year, but keeping your pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky. By following these recommendations and precautions, your night will be a treat. Keep your little fur ghouls and goblins safe by:
Hiding The Treats: The candy bowl is meant specifically for little human trick-or-treaters, not Fido or Spot. Many popular Halloween treats are toxic and potentially fatal to pets. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
Keep An Eye On Decorations And All Wires Out Of Reach: Though a carved jack-o-lantern is definitely festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kitties are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by a candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic but can produce stomach discomfort in hungry pets that may nibble on them.
Be Cautious With Costumes: For some pets, wearing a costume may cause unnecessary stress. Don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know they will love it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit their movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Outfits that aren’t the right size can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury. Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her “birthday suit” or wear a festive bandana or hat instead.
Keep Pets Relaxed And Identifiable: Halloween brings a whirlwind of activity with visitors knocking at the door, and so many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification. If for any reason your pet does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.
Don’t let the scariest night of the year turn into a complete nightmare. If you take all the necessary precautions and are aware at all times, you will not find yourself in the midst of the tricks and will only encounter the treats of what this holiday can bring.