It’s the spookiest time of the year! This Halloween, as you’re
scoping out costumes, arranging decorations artfully, and
gearing up for trick-or-treaters, make sure to keep your pet’s safety in mind. We’ve got
five important Halloween safety tips to help you with the dos
and don’ts of the holiday season.
1. Your Pet’s Who, What, and Where
Holiday season or not, it’s always a good idea to make sure
your pet is well identified: ID tags should be up-to-date with
your current contact information, and microchips are also an option that will
help make it easy for good Samaritans to bring back your cat or
dog if they wander off through an open door.
2. Save the Treats for You (and Your Kids)
Nothing says Halloween like gorging on candy, whether it’s your
own supply for trick-or-treaters or a big haul brought back to
the house by your kids. As you pick through for the tastiest
treats, make sure to keep all of the sweet bounty inaccessible
to your cat and dog. If they are tempted by the candy, they
won’t be able to remove wrappers, which can lead to digestion
troubles, and may also be a choking hazard.
And the candy itself is toxic:
chocolate, the ingredient
theobromine can lead to tummy distress at best in dogs, with
vomit and diarrhea as the main symptoms, or it can
even lead to death, if a pet eats too much.
Sugar-free treats are no better. The sweetener substitute
xylitol can lead to severe sickness; if you know that your dog
has ingested xylitol, call the vet
Chocolate is problematic for cats
as well, but they do not tend to be tempted. It’s unknown if
xylitol is toxic for cats, but in general, seek to keep sweets
away from cats as well as dogs to be on the safe side.
3. Keep an Eye on the Door
As you marvel at trick-or-treaters, make sure that you keep
your pets in a closed room, in their crate, or held by the
leash or in your arms. This way, you can avoid your cat or dog
running through the open door, and can also make sure they
don’t scratch or bite your visitors.
Some pets experience anxiety when
the doorbell rings frequently, or even when there are a lot
more guests than usual. If that’s the case for your cat or dog,
consider leaving a note so that people will knock instead of
ringing the bell, or keeping your pets in a comfortable place
far from the sound of people and the doorbell.
4. Pet Costumes
Definitely do dress up your pets
if they’re amenable -- that way, they can celebrate the season
in style! Check costumes for loose strings and bows that could
be chewable temptations, and scratchy sections that may cause
discomfort. A fairly simple costume is best for pets.
5. Pet-Safe Decorations
And of course, follow simple safety precautions when it comes
to decorations. If you’re keeping candles in a jack-o-lantern,
make sure there’s no possibility of the candle being within the
range of a paw. Your cat or dog could easily burn themselves,
or tip over the pumpkin and start a fire.
Avoid tinsel anywhere your cat can come into contact with it,
since it can be a choking hazard. Fake spider webs could cause
a similar problem, and should also be avoided in areas where
your cat will roam.
A few tips can make it extra special for you and your pet this
Halloween. So hover over to the next section to know more about
Pets and Halloween Safety
Fire flickering through carved Jack-O-Lanterns, sweets teeming
over the edge of your goodie bag, a menagerie of costumed
characters strolling past you on the street; yes, something
wicked this way comes! But before you wrap Rover in a pumpkin
jumpsuit remember this, the same things we often look forward
to most on Halloween can seem frightening to pets and may prove
to be dangerous as well. But don’t dismay – by taking just a
few precautions you can share one of your favorite holidays
with your pets and make sure they have a safe and exciting
We check IDs - ID tags and microchips keep your pet safe
Between the constant opening and closing of the door and all
the excitement in the house and on the block, it is fairly
common for cats and dogs to pull a runner, to try to get away
from all the action. If your pet does escape, having a collar
with an ID tag, or better yet, a microchip, will greatly
increase the odds of finding them.
Sugar rush - bad for people, worse for dogs
For cats and dogs chocolate is a
definite no-no, as is anything containing Xylitol. But
sugar should be limited in general as it can still cause a
stomachache and enforce unhealthy habits for your pet. Better
to stock up on some dog or cat treats and give them out to your
pet and others making the rounds.
Fire and wires and lights, oh my!
Any holiday that features lots of candles and lights has to be
closely monitored by pet parents. Cats are particularly at risk
with candles because of their tendency to explore. Dogs, the
curious chewers of the pet world, need to be kept away from
wires which can cause burns or electrical shock when chewed.
Costumes for dogs
Dressing your kids in the latest blockbuster movie costume is
kind of cute but transforming your cat or dog into a pirate is
downright adorable. Just remember, don’t sacrifice your pet’s
comfort for a chuckle. To ensure your pet’s costume is
comfortable have them try it on prior to the big night and
gauge their reaction – if they’re trying to tear it off it’s no
good. If your trick-or-treater is not feeling the sunglasses
and leather jacket then settle for a nice bandanna around their
Aahhh, people are scary
Your cat or dog might be used to people but that doesn’t mean
they are used to people dressed as swamp monsters or masked
vigilantes. The most important thing to remember about ensuring
your pet’s safety is to monitor their behavior and make sure
they are comfortable throughout the evening.
With a little bit of care you can ensure a spookily magical
evening for your pets and set a happy precedent for years to
come. So here’s wishing you a Happy Halloween, pet parents, and
if you happen to have a black cat sit back and relax – your
decorations are covered.
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