Halloween is exciting, but it’s important to protect your animal companions from hidden dangers!
1. Keep Your Pet Inside!
Pets left outdoors can encounter tricksters. PetMD notes that people harass, harm, steal and even sometimes kill pets left outside on Halloween.
2. Keep Candy Out of Reach!
Make sure that all candy is kept safely away from inquisitive pets. Don’t forget about the wrappers, too, since some pets will investigate and eat those. The American Veterinary Medical Association reminds pet parents that xylitol (often found in sugar-free candies and gum) and chocolate are especially problematic. Learn more about dangerous foods for dogs.
3. Don’t Make Your Pet Unhappy
Don’t dress up your pet if he seems unhappy about it. Some pets dislike costumes or are stressed out by them. PetMD suggests taking the time to let your pet try the costume and get used to it before the big night. If your pet doesn’t seem thrilled to be wearing the costume, try a bandanna, new festive collar (remember to move your pet’s tags!) or letting your pet celebrate in his birthday suit!
4. Avoid the Masks
If you dress up your pet, skip the mask. You want to be sure you don’t obstruct your pet’s vision at all or interfere with their ability to breathe.
5. Be Careful with Costumes
If you do dress up your pet, make sure that the costume is safe and non-constricting. Also, be sure to supervise your pet while he’s wearing the costume. Veterinarian Dr. Becker suggested to ABC that pet parents could remove the costume as soon as a few photos are taken.
6. Put the Pumpkin Somewhere Safe
Keep jack-o-lanterns and festive pumpkins out of the reach of pets. Although pumpkin is generally safe, eating too much of it can cause upset stomachs according to the ASPCA. In addition, candles in jack-o-lanterns can singe curious pets or cause fires if knocked over! Even if you use glow sticks, the AVMA reminds pet parents that those can cause pets to “salivate excessively and behave strangely.”
7. Remove Your Pet Before Trick-or-Treat
Consider keeping your dog or cat in a room away from the front door. Aside from the dangers of door dashing, even calm pets can be upset by the strange sights and sounds of trick-or-treaters. You also want to be sure that your pet won’t scare or accidentally harm a trick-or-treats with an exuberant jump!
8. Don’t Forget ID
Whatever else you do, be sure that your pet is wearing identification. It’s also a good idea to update your pet’s microchip. If your pet isn’t microchipped yet, learn how they work and some of the benefits of microchipping your pet. While these should keep your pet from becoming lost, it’s always better to be prepared — just in case!