Halloween is a fun-filled time for many people, young and old; but can be the opposite for some in our animal families. Between the potential for harmful candy exposure, to the risks of after-dark trauma, to increased stress levels from a scary environment; there are many possible risks to our cats and dogs.
Listed here are some tips for keeping our furry friends safe:
- Keep candy out of reach. Candy can be delicious for us, and also for our pets, especially dogs. Chocolate gets the most attention as harmful, but candies that contain other compounds such as xylitol or raisins can also cause severe toxicity.
- Make sure all pets are secure in a safe area. With your door repeatedly opening to excited trick-or-treaters, pets may have the opportunity to sneak out of an open door. Enclosing them in a quiet, stress-free room away from all the spooky action may be the best idea. Keeping cats inside for a few days leading up to Halloween is recommended. If your dog does join you for trick or treating, make sure that they are always on-leash, and adding reflective tape to a collar or harness could be considered to make them more visible to passing cars. In case of accidental escape, whether inside or out, make sure they are wearing their collar/tags, and microchipping is optimal.
- Pets in costume are adorable, but they may be stressed by wearing them. Make sure that there are no parts to the costume that might be chewed and eaten, as well as no tight collars. If your pet seems stressed by a costume, consider just taking a picture and then taking the costume off. Many animals may also be frightened by seeing mini ghosts and goblins repeatedly coming to the door. As stated above, enclosing these pets in a quiet, stress-free room away from all the spooky action may be the best idea.
- Pets should not be allowed to chew on decorations of the house or yard. Jack-o-lanterns lit by candles can be of particular concern as they could burn the pet if touched, or could cause a fire if they were knocked over.
With these tips in mind, we hope that all in your family have a very Happy Halloween!