If your pet loves wearing a costume and greeting gaggles of tiny princesses and superheroes at the front door, then Halloween is certainly as much fun for him or her as it is for the two-legged members of the family. This spooky time of year isn’t without its risks, however, even for those pets that enjoy all the festivities. Follow our Halloween pet safety tips to keep your four-legged pal safe and comfortable this year.
Humans aren’t the only ones with a sweet tooth; pets find candy, cookies, and other treats just as irresistible as us. Most owners already know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but there are other potential dangers lurking in your child’s trick-or-treat bag. This includes Xylitol (an artificial sweetener that’s extremely toxic to dogs), raisins, and macadamia nuts. To be safe, stash all candy and treats out of reach of your fur friend.
Lions, Tigers, and Bears?
There’s no doubt that a cat dressed up as a fairy or a pug in a hamburger costume is adorable, but our pets may not feel the same way. Some pets don’t mind being the center of attention while some make their discomfort obvious with their body language (tail tucked, ears back, chewing/scratching at the costume, etc.). For these pets, opt for a simple Halloween bandana or orange collar in lieu of a costume.
If you decide to dress your pet up, make sure the costume is comfortable, does not restrict movement, hearing, breathing, or vision, and doesn’t have any small or dangling parts that can be chewed off or pose a strangulation risk.
Although some pets don’t bat an eye at a human in costume, for many, the sight of masks and costumes is a truly frightful experience. Even if your pet doesn’t mind seeing people dressed up, the opening and closing of the door or a constantly ringing doorbell on Halloween can be stressful and may leave plenty of opportunities for little escapees to make their getaway.
Set your pet up in a quiet, out-of-the-way room on Halloween night if you plan on handing out candy. Provide plenty of water, bedding, and their favorite toys, and make use of soft music or a fan to drown out the noise of trick-or-treaters.
Halloween Pet Safety at Home
Strings of decorative lights are pretty on any holiday but can pose a risk to curious or teething pets who may chew on or become entangled in the cords. Lit jack-o-lanterns can also spell big trouble if knocked over by an excited pet. Small costume pieces can also be dangerous choking hazards and foreign body possibilities for your pets – spider rings, face paint, small costume items and general decorations can be dangerous, and temping, territory for your pets!
An important part of Halloween pet safety is remembering to bring your pet inside well before dark and throughout the whole evening. Even if your pet is mellow or enjoys the activity, visibility is low, and vehicular and foot traffic is increased.