Halloween safety tips
Halloween is a magical time of year for children. Superheroes, princesses, ghosts, witches, and zombies run door to door collecting treats! But Halloween can be scary and potentially dangerous for pets. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe and healthy this spooky season:
Keep candy out of reach
Candy is not for pets. Chocolate can be toxic depending on the quantity and type eaten, candy wrappers can cause intestinal upset and gastrointestinal blockage, and mints and gum may be artificially sweetened with xylitol which is toxic for pets, causing dogs to experience a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels leading to seizures. If left untreated, it may cause liver failure and or death. Suspect an accidental ingestion? Contact your veterinarian right away.
Decorate the pet-safe way
While non-toxic, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can upset a pet’s stomach, especially when consumed in large quantities. Same goes for colored corn cobs that can block the digestive tract. Decorations like cobwebs, toys or other spooky accessories may be tempting for pets to chew on and could be accidentally ingested. With wagging tails and romping pets, candle-lit Jack-o’-Lanterns are a burn and fire hazard. As an extra safety precaution, use battery-powered candles to get the same scary effect! Keep all decorations out of reach and away from curious noses.
Keep pets in a secured area
Scary costumes, a non-stop parade of strangers, squealing children and shouts of “trick or treat!” can be alarming to even the calmest of pets. Keep your pet in a room away from the ringing doorbell. To help block out the noise, turn on the television, play calming music or turn on a fan. Keeping your pets secured behind closed doors, preferably in their cozy crate, also prevents an unwanted escape by a fearful pet.
Avoid costumes, even if your pet loves to play dress up
While pet costumes are very cute, they may be uncomfortable or downright scary. Some can obstruct senses, be a constant tripping hazard or even be chewed accidentally. So skip the possible scare and keep your companion comfy by opting for a festive collar, harness or bandana.
Leave pets at home when trick-or-treating
Including pets in activities is important for many families. With Halloween however, it may be better to have your pet skip the festivities. With so many strange sights and sounds, your dog or cat may become frightened. If your pet suffers from anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about natural remedies or supplements, like Feliway or Adaptil.