Tips for a Safe Halloween with Pets
Halloween is such a fun time for both kids and families but it can be a stressful time for pets. Take a few simple precautions and you can insure your furry pet family enjoys the Halloween holiday with you.
1. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date.
2. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.
Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
3. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.
The noise and commotion from trick-or-treaters might spook your pet, and there is always the risk that pranksters may release your pet from the yard.
4. Lit pumpkins and wagging tails do not go hand in hand.
Keep pumpkins out of reach to prevent burns and fires (not to mention smashed pumpkins). If consumed in large quantities, pumpkins can cause stomach issues and intestinal blockage.
5. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
All forms of chocolate -- especially baking or dark chocolate -- can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry.
6. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
The constant ringing of the doorbell may overly excite or frighten your pet, and the frequent opening of the door provides them with the opportunity to escape.
It’s a good idea to keep your pets contained in an area where they can’t easily make a run for it. This also keeps your pet safely away from trick-or-treaters, who they may not react kindly to out of fear.
7. Try on pet costumes before the big night.
If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Make sure they are comfortable in their costume. They may look cute in it, but remember that you have a living animal, not a dress-up doll, and any restriction of movement or breathing is a bad sign. Check to make sure there are no loose parts that could get caught and strangle your pet, and that there is nothing on the costume they can try to eat. Don’t leave your pets unsupervised while they have their costume on.