Pet Safety Tips For Happy and Healthy Pets This Halloween
Halloween can be a time of great joy, creativity and excitement for you and your family. Factoring in safety for your dogs and cats during the Halloween season will ensure a happy holiday for all. Our Halloween safety tips include:
- Keeping all pets indoors
- Being wary of costumes for pets
- Supervising your jack-o-lanterns (if you’re using real candles)
- Making certain pets don’t consume anything toxic
During the trick-or-treating portion of the day, it’s best to keep your dog or cat in a room away from the constant influx of visitors. Sugar-filled, costumed children may quickly become a source of stress for a pet, especially for dogs and cats who are door-bolters. For those dogs that have not yet been socialized with children, this is not the best time to introduce the two. Oversized masks and costumes accompanied with loud noises can be quite frightening and often have a long-lasting impact on skittish dogs. It may be better to ensconce your pet in a comfortable room away from the afternoon and evening chaos. Most dogs will benefit from a good walk or equal amount of exercise beforehand to ensure any pent up energy is released. During trick-or-treating hours your dog may enjoy a stuffed Kong, treat puzzle, or other interactive toys to distract them from the Halloween shenanigans.
Like it or not, Halloween can trigger cruel behavior in some, and pranks can turn ugly very quickly. If you have an outdoor cat, keep them indoors on Halloween night. Some people caution that black cats especially are targets for the entire month of October. Dogs too, can become the subject of mean-spirited and violent pranks, so please keep them indoors as well. No one wants to think neighborhood kids and teens are capable of violence, but just to be safe, do not let your dog out in the yard without supervision.
Other things to keep in mind, according to the ASPCA website, is to be considerate if you choose to dress your dog in a costume. If they’re uncomfortable, it’s better just to take the costume off. If it constricts breathing or movement, then the doggy-costume definitely needs to go. Even if your dog is comfortable in their costume, they should still be supervised at all times. A festive bandana or collar bow are good alternatives.
Also beware of jack-o-lanterns with actual candles or luminaries, since the combination of these and a pet may spell fire hazard. Dangling wires and cords can also be dangerous to dogs and cats that are too curious.
We all know how toxic some candies and chocolate can be for our pets. It is best to keep the candy bowl out of reach (especially for those with counter surfers). On the days following Halloween, be aware of any loose candy or wrappers on the ground while out on walks.
Halloween is a high-energy holiday that can be a great deal of fun for all involved. Making sure your pets are safe requires extra steps, but we’re sure you’ll agree that these steps are entirely worth it.