Halloween is a night everyone gets dressed up and hits the streets for candy! We love to take our pets with us, but there are some Halloween pet safety tips to think about before we start putting up Halloween decorations or bring out the candy for trick-or-treaters.
Cute Costumes We can’t resist dogs and cats in costumes! But our pets might not be as keen on costumes as we are. When you have the costume picked out and ready to go, let your pet do a test run. Make sure there are no little pieces they want to chew off to become a choking hazard. Check that they can see, hear, move comfortably, and they’re not irritated by the costume. It can cause a lot of stress for our furry friends and we want them to be as happy as possible. If they don’t like the full costume, a bow or fancy collar may please both pet and owner.
Get special dog treats for Halloween to steer them away from Halloween candy! Children’s candy can be a toxic temptation for pets. Dogs love chocolate, but chocolate does not love them. It contains theobromine which is toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. A few bites of milk chocolate which contains the least amount can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Baking chocolate contains the most — even the smallest amount can kill a dog.
Sugar-free candy can also be hazardous for your pets. The artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic for dogs. It can cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar leading to tremors, seizures and sometimes death. It’s found in human treats like gum and mints.
On Halloween night, only take dogs with you if they are crowd-friendly. While they might be OK going out on their morning walks, Halloween brings out a lot more people — who don’t necessarily look like people. You don’t want them to get stressed out; they may not react the way they normally do even in a familiar neighborhood.
For those pets staying at home, all the people coming to the door and all of the opening and closing may cause alarm to your pets. To be kind to your dog and the kids in costumes, block off the entryway so they don’t get too excited or get out.
If your pet is an indoor-outdoor pet, keep them indoors on Halloween for the same reason you shouldn’t take them trick-or-treating; the unfamiliar costumes and number of people out and about may stress them out. Additionally, though there are myths surrounding black cats being the victims of pranksters around Halloween, the bigger concern is that they can’t be seen in the dark and get hit by cars. As an extra precaution on Halloween, make sure all pets have an ID tag in case they do get loose in the chaos of the holiday.
You know your pets and you know what they like to chew on, rub up against or bat. When you’re putting up Halloween decor, look out for little things that can be easily chewed off and swallowed. If you have a cat, think about what they like to climb and if your Halloween decor might be a temptation.
Be careful with jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkin in small amounts can be good for dogs’ digestion, if they eat too much, it will upset their stomachs. It’s also high in vitamin A which can be toxic if a dog consumes too much.
Use LED lights instead of candles. Cats and dogs don’t know the power of their tails and they can knock over candles or jack-o-lanterns lit by tea lights causing a fire. LED lights also eliminates the risk of a curious kitten getting burned.
We ramp up safety precautions for our kids on Halloween, but pets are part of the family, too; it only makes sense for us to take care of their Halloween needs as well.