Halloween Pet Safety Tips
Ghosts, goblins and ghouls are preparing for their favorite night of the year...Halloween is upon us! Costumes, candy and pumpkins occupy our minds as the holiday approaches and while we have a special safety plan in place for the kids, we also need a plan for our pets. Here are some Halloween pet safety tips to think about before you start putting up Halloween decorations.
Diabolical Decor Indoor
Living with pets you have a pretty good idea of what they like to chew on and play around with. Have this in mind when you start putting up cheap Halloween decorations. Look out for little things that can be chewed off and swallowed; tape them up so they're of reach of your pet or remove the decorations. If you have a cat, climbing may be a concern. If there's a decoration you think might tempt your cat, put it in a room that's off-limits or make it part of your outdoor decor.
If creepy lighting is a must-have item for your decor, use LED lights instead of candles. Cats and dogs aren't always aware of their tails and it could be disastrous for your pet and your home if it swings toward a candle. LED lights also eliminate the risk of a curious kitten getting burned.
Pumpkins are both friends and foes of dogs. If a dog eats just a little bit of pumpkin, it's very good for digestion, however, if a dog bites off too much, he might end up with an upset stomach. Pumpkin is also packed with vitamin A, which can be toxic if a dog consumes too much.
Out & About While it may seem like an extra safety precaution (and lots of fun) to take your dog with you trick-or-treating, consider leaving your pup at home. Dogs should only go out on Halloween night if they are crowd-friendly. Even if they're comfortable being around people and other dogs on their morning walks, Halloween is a different beast. People won't look like people and there are a lot more of them, which can be startling and very stressful for our furry friends.
At Home Handing out candy with you may seem like a low-key bonding activity for you and your pet, but you may want to put your kitty or pup in a room for the night with a few wooden toys to bat around. The unfamiliar faces in costumes and the constant knocking, doorbell ringing, and opening and closing of the front door may be alarming to your pet. If locking them in a special room isn't an option, try blocking off the entryway to keep pets from getting too excited when trick-or-treaters come around.
Outdoors = Off-Limits If your pet is used to coming and going as he pleases, you may want to lock up the pet door for the night for his safety. Like with trick-or-treating, there are more people out in costumes, which may cause your dog stress. Not only is stress a concern, but if your pet has dark coloring, he may be very hard to see and run the risk of being hit by a car. Do make sure your pet has an ID tag in case he does get loose in the pandemonium of the holiday.
Devilish Dress-Up As pet owners, we have a hard time resisting a cute costume for our pets! However, our pets might not enjoy the costume as much as we do. If you decide on a costume, make sure to do a dress rehearsal to ensure your pet is comfortable moving around and can see and hear through the costume. If a full costume doesn't work for your pet, tie a bow around his ears or put on a fancy collar.
Treats Are Tricks
Dogs get just as excited over candy as kids do, but children's candy can be a toxic temptation for pets. Dogs love chocolate, but it contains theobromine which can be deadly to pets. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. A few bites of milk chocolate which contains the least amount can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Baking chocolate contains the most: even the smallest amount can kill a dog.
Sugar-free candy containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol is toxic for dogs. It can cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar, leading to tremors, seizures and sometimes death. It's found in human treats like gum and mints. As a precaution, pick up some special dog treats to distract your pup from the candy.