Halloween can be a fun time of the year for families but pretty scary and stressful for pets. Follow these tips to make sure your pets have a safe Halloween.
1. Hide The Treats
Or at least keep them out of reach. If you’re anything like me, you begin purchasing treats early in October as soon as sales start and if you do make sure you stash any pre-preparation candy you purchase somewhere your fur baby won’t be able to get them, like a high cabinet.
Also, if you leave a candy bowl out for trick-or-treaters your dog may think they have hit the jackpot if they stumble upon it so make sure it is somewhere they can not reach it.
Ingredients in candy can be extremely dangerous for dogs and cats, foods like xylitol and chocolate can have deadly effects on pets. Want to learn about other ingredients that can be harmful to your pets read our article about 15 holiday foods that can harm your pet here. But some common harmful foods and materials are:
- Chocolate: contains a substance that can be toxic for pets
- Caramel apples: the sticks can be swallowed causing choking or internally damaging organs
- Foil and plastic wrapping: can cause choking and internal blockage. Foil can also be extremely sharp and can cause cuts on the gums and intestines
- Candy: most candy can cause stomach upset and possible vomiting and diarrhea
- Packaging: can cause choking or intestinal blockage
2. Choose A Costume Wisely
- Does your dog or cat hate dressing up? If putting clothes on your dog or cat causes undue stress you may want to forgo dressing them up or get them something simple like a bandana, bows, or a bow tie. Always make sure that they can move, see, and breathe normally.
- Try the costume on before Halloween to give your dog or cat a chance to get used to it and see if they don’t mind wearing it.
- Ensure it is pet-friendly. You would think costumes for pets were all safe for pets right? Not always, while most are, you have to take some things into account, especially if you are making your own costume. Make sure the costume doesn’t have any small pieces that can easily be detached or pulled off and eaten, anything dangling from the costume, or tight rubber bands that possibly constrict breathing
- If you put the costume on and your dog or cat is not fond of it, snap your photos, and let them take it off immediately. It can cause a lot of undue stress to leave the costume on all night simply because it is cute.
3. Ditch The Decor
When choosing your pet’s costume keep these four things in mind
Or at least the ones that are not so pet-friendly.
Opt for pet-friendly decorations and make sure your fur baby can’t reach them. Pumpkins are pretty much non-toxic to dogs, but if they eat too much it can cause severe stomach upset.
Also, decorative corn can cause stomach blockage if the cob is eaten.
Keep a close eye on carved jack-o-lanterns that sometimes include candles and can be easily knocked over.
Also, keep an eye on anything your dog or cat may want to chew on like string or small decorations like stuffed spiders and eyeballs.
Believe it or not, your pet can be just as scared of your decor and creepy costumes as anyone else. If you have a particular decoration that is causing your pet undue stress you may want to ditch it or keep it out of the view.
Be aware of which decorations may pose the highest threats:
- Candles: fire hazard and some are toxic to birds if scented
- Fake blood: possible poisoning if eaten
- Rubber eyeballs, small buttons, small toys: choking hazards
- Fake cobwebs: possible choking hazard and small pets or wildlife can become entangled
- Strung lights: choking hazard and possible entanglement
4. Keep Them Away From The Door
If you are having a Halloween party or giving out candy to trick or treaters ensure your dog is far from the door.
Opening and closing doors during Halloween is a given, with trick-or-treaters and visitors it can be stressful for pets and give them a great opportunity to brave the outdoors alone.
If your dog is anti-social or goes crazy at the sound of someone at the door consider leaving them in a separate room away from the front door.
If you decide to leave them in another room, place a sign on the door alerting visitors not to enter or let them out.
You can also get new treats and toys just for the night that you know your fur baby will love to keep them happy and preoccupied while in the room.
If you have a camera outside your home keep a close eye out for trick-or-treaters and open the door before they ring the doorbell and cause too much excitement in your dog. Alternatively, you can sit outside if it is a nice night.
Make sure your pet is microchipped and has their ID tags on just in case they do dart out the door.
5. Keep Your Pet Inside
Don’t leave your dog in the yard or allow your cat to roam free during Halloween, unfortunately, there are people who will see this as an opportunity to do something not so nice to animals, especially black cats
6. Never Leave Your Dog or Cat In The Car
Some pet parents think it’s okay to leave their dog in the car while trick or treating since they will be in and out of the car all night. Even if your dog will only be in the car for a short amount of time you should never don’t leave them in the car while you are trick-or-treating.
7. Watch Our For Wrappers
If you are taking your dog out walking while the family trick or treats keep a close eye on the ground for fallen wrappers and candy. Dogs are like babies, they put everything in their mouths, it is part of how they experience and explore the world so you have to be vigilant about ensuring they do not ingest anything that may cause them harm.