Halloween: Doing it Right!

It’s that time of year again – the air is getting cooler, and people and pets alike bring out their cutest (and sometimes spookiest) sights. That’s right, it’s almost Halloween!
black cat and jack o lantern
Image Credits: Manolo “AngelFace” by Michele M. F., used under CC BY-SA 2.0; Jack-o’-lantern by William Warby, used under CC BY 2.0, placed on a custom background.

While Halloween is certainly a favorite holiday, all the things that make it fun for people – candy, costumes, and trick-or-treaters – can be dangerous or scary for pets. As a loving pet parent, it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts to avoid any unexpected frights and keep your pets safe on All Hallows Eve.

5 Easy Ways to Keep Pets Safe on Halloween

1. No tricks, no treats:

That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for your furry friend. All chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Many candies contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol that can also cause problems.

2. Pumpkin Patch Problems:

Pumpkins and decorative corn are nontoxic, but can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you use a candle for light. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire or burn themselves.

Other potentially dangerous decorations include:

  • rubber eyeballs (choking risk),
  • glow sticks and fake blood (potential poisons),
  • fake cobwebs (can choke or entangle pets and wildlife),
  • potpourri (toxic to birds) and
  • strung lights (burns and/or electric shocks).

3. It’s my Party and I’ll Dress-Up if I want to:

Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If your pet appears uncomfortable, take off the costume (You can always snap some pics for Instagram to preserve the moment).

Signs of discomfort include:

  • folded down ears,
  • eyes rolling back or looking sideways,
  • a tucked tail and
  • hunching over.

If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. Take a close look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on.

4. Social Butterflies Only:

All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours, either in their kennel or somewhere they feel safe. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

5. IDs, please!

Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that your loved one will be returned to you.

The top Halloween hazards for pets are escaping and accidental poisoning. Following these guidelines should make for a fun and (not-so) frightening Halloween.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>