The spookiest season of the year is upon us, and that means tricks, treats, and costumes galore. But are you and your pet are ready to enjoy this night of ghouls and goblins, superheroes and villains? If the decorations are up, the candy bought, and the pumpkins carved, the only left to do is take the necessary precautions to keep your pet safe and comfortable on what could be a very distressing night for your four-legged trickster.
The Tricks, the Treats, and Everything in Between
Many aspects of Halloween can be incredibly enjoyable for both you and your pet, but as with every holiday, there are potential dangers that could threaten both your pet’s health and safety. As All Hallows Eve draws nearer, here are a few things to remember when it comes to Halloween safety for pets:
- If you’re planning on dressing your pet in a costume, make sure he or she is okay with it. Pets can become very anxious or distressed if placed in anything that is too tight or blocks the senses, so try to avoid anything that may choke your pet or involve a mask.
- Try not to dress your pet in black from head to toe as this makes it difficult for motorists and other trick-or-treaters to spot your pet. If you insist on that black costume, try placing reflectors on your pet’s super outfit to make it easier to see him or her on that walk around the neighborhood.
- Keep the people food away from your pet. Those Halloween parties with friends and family are a lot of fun, but many people foods are poisonous to your pet. Don’t feed your pet anything that may cause serious reactions or stomach aches or you may be in for a real scare.
- For many of us, candy is one of the best parts of Halloween. Just remember, chocolate in all its forms is toxic to pets; the darker the chocolate, the worse it is. Also steer clear of the artificial sweetener Xylitol, which is equally bad for your pet and usually found in sugar-free candies. The best plan is to keep that bowl or bucket of candy well of out Fido’s reach.
- Since there is a good chance that your pet could dart out the door as trick-or-treaters come to call, or during your walk from house to house, make sure his or her ID tags are on the collar, or that his or her microchip is activated and up to date.
- You may want to show off your pet’s costume as much as possible, but don’t keep your pet tied up in the front yard as masked strangers come and go. Your black cat or caped canine may become anxious or defensive if left outside during Halloween. Pets should be kept in a separate room of the house where they aren’t as likely to become excited or aggravated by all of the trick-or-treaters.
- Keeps banners, streamers, webbing, netting, and light cords out of your pet’s path and reach. If not hung high enough or made off limits, you might get a nasty fright if your pet gets entangled or electrocuted.
- Halloween isn’t complete without a carved pumpkin or two, and maybe a few dried cobs of Indian corn. These decorations really help set the mood, and it’s true they are not toxic to your pet, but they could cause a really nasty tummy ache if your pet takes a bite (or ten) so do your best to keep them off limits to Rover.
The coming and going of all the kiddos, the different foods and candies that are readily accessible, and the scary decorations can definitely cause anxiety during the holiday, but Halloween doesn’t have to be stressful for your pet, especially if you are willing to take a few extra precautions to ensure that he or she remains happy and safe at trick-or-treat time. Do your best to remove your pet from as many potentially harmful situations as possible, and keep those foods and decorations that are bad for Buddy well out of reach.
If you think your pet may have ingested something toxic or has become injured during the Halloween festivities, contact us immediately at (757) 253-0656 to discuss emergency first aid and treatment options. Have a happy and safe Halloween!