Halloween fun is just around the corner, but with Halloween comes some serious safety concerns for your four-legged family members. Adhering to certain guidelines will help your pets enjoy a safe, yet frightfully fun, Halloween night. Consider the following eight tips:
Tip #1: Don’t allow your pet access to candy
Most Halloween treats are loaded with chocolate or xylitol, a sugar substitute. Chocolate contains substances called methylxanthines that can cause hyperactivity, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and sometimes death. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous for your pet. Xylitol, which is found in gum and candies, can cause dangerously low blood sugar and a variety of other signs. Keep these out of noses’ reach and instruct trick-or-treaters to do the same.
Tip #2: Do consider baking pet-friendly Halloween-themed treats
While the kids gather around their mounds of candy from the big night, you can tempt Fido with tasty and healthy pet treats using recipes like this. Hiding some pooch-approved goodies in a rubber Kong or other puzzle toy makes for a long-lasting treat that will surely distract your pet during the post-Halloween sugar rush. Of course, if your pet has any allergies or specific dietary requirements, check with our veterinary team before you bake any pet treats.
Tip #3: Don’t adorn your home in dangerous decorations
Spooky ornaments can not only frighten pets, but also cause serious harm. While pumpkins alone are not typically toxic to pets, candlelit jack-o’-lanterns may tempt curious creatures and pose a fire risk, so these festive gourds are best left outside, away from pets and small children. Consider using battery-operated candles instead.
Tip #4: Do provide safe Halloween-themed toys
Come fall, stores are filled with festive Halloween items for families and pets. Rather than decorate your home with potentially dangerous lights, garlands, and jack-o’-lanterns, keep your furry friend safely occupied with pet-friendly toys, balls, and activities.
Tip #5: Don’t allow your pet to approach trick-or-treaters at the door
Dogs and cats don’t understand the abundance of costumed children at their door on Halloween night, and the unexpected visitors can cause irrational, and occasionally aggressive, behavior. In addition, frightened pets are a flight risk and may bolt out the door if they feel threatened. Ensure that your pets are in a secure place away from the door and cannot come into contact with strangers.
Tip #6: Do keep your pet where he is happiest on the big night
Your pet will have more fun on Halloween night if you keep him in an area where he feels safe and calm. If he isn’t stressed by the doorbell or frequent visitors, then keeping him securely attached to a leash so he can observe the action is generally a safe option. However, if you believe the Halloween excitement may be too much, consider setting your pet up in a quiet, calm space away from trick-or-treaters. Some pet owners choose to board their pets on this potentially stressful evening.
Tip #7: Don’t force your pet to wear a costume
While it is hard to resist the adorable Halloween pet costumes, reconsider outfitting your furry friend in something he may find uncomfortable. Since most pets rarely wear clothing, a costume can feel positively awkward, and can pose a threat if it hinders your pet’s ability to see, hear, or move properly.
Tip #8: Do allow your pet to sport a festive item
Rather than your pet donning an ornate Halloween costume, consider a festive collar, leash, or simple piece of pet clothing, such as a bandana. You can decorate these items with pet-safe embellishments, or place Halloween-themed bows on longer-haired pets. Simple, yet fun, statements are festive but non-intrusive for your pet.
We encourage families to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween night. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding Halloween safety.