The Halloween holiday can be the freakiest night of the year, but keeping your animals safe doesn’t have to be tricky. Take these simple precautions to keep your pet healthy and happy.
1. Hide the Treats
The candy bowl is for festive trick-or-treaters, not pets. Many popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate, especiallydark or baking chocolate—can be extremely dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol can cause critical problems for pets. If you think your pet has eaten something toxic, please call your vet or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 right away.
2. Keep Wires Out of Reach and Watch the Decorations
A carved jack-o-lantern is festive but, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start fires. Curious kittens can get singed by candle flame. Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who chew on them.
3. Be Cautious with Costumes
For some pets, wearing costumes causes undue stress. Don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it.
If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight, ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume for small, dangly or easily chewed-off pieces that your pet could choke on. Loose-fitting outfits can get caught on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
Have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed, consider letting your pet wear a festive bandana instead.
4. Keep Pets Calm and make sure they have tags
Halloween brings activity with visitors arriving at the door. Too many stranger people can often be stressful and scary for pets. While opening the door, be sure that your pet doesn’t run outside. Most pets should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hour, unless they are extremely social. And always make sure your pet it wearing a collar or proper identification—if he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.