Pet safety tips for Halloween

Some pets love Halloween, while others find it a little tricky. Each housepet is a little different, so when it comes to your dog or cat, make sure you are taking the right precautions to keep them safe during the spooky season!

Each Halloween, veterinarian offices see dozens of cases of dogs and cats that have found their way into the candy stash, tangled in decorations, or some other mischievous adventure.

There are many ways to protect your pet on the spookiest night of the year. Read on for the top 5 Halloween safety tips for pets our vets recommend.

Our top 5 Halloween safety tips for pets

Avoid Halloween hype

Masks, costumes, and hair-raising decorations can be alarming to some pets. To reduce the stress in your dog or cat, create a quiet space for their retreat before the trick or treaters arrive.

In this space, make sure you include their food and water bowls, toys, and bed so they are comfortable. This room should be away from the majority of the Halloween activity. Consider turning on the television or relaxing music in the room.

You can also minimize the noise from door-knocking and doorbells by remaining outside for the trick-or-treaters or placing a basket of treats by the door.

Tricks and treats

Unfortunately, dogs and cats can’t enjoy the same treats as we do. What’s a treat for us will end up as a dirty trick for pets.

Keep the treats out of reach by storing them in containers with lids or in a place where dogs and cats cannot reach.

According to the ASPCA, foods like chocolate, gum, and those that contain xylitol are hazardous to pets. If your pet ingests these ingredients, call your veterinarian immediately, so they can advise you in the care your animal needs.

Be mindful of decorations

Cobwebs, corncobs, and spooky candles might seem perfect for our Halloween, but dogs and cats have a certain curiosity and are known for mischief.

Use caution when you are decorating the inside and outside your home. Decorations like autumn corn cobs, glow sticks, and fake blood can cause upset stomachs in dogs and cats if ingested. Plus, lit candles and jack-o-lanterns can tip over and cause a fire or injury to your pet.

Use caution with costumes

We all know how irresistibly adorable our animals are in their costumes. But, take a moment to consider if the feeling is mutual with your dog or cat.

Many of these costumes cause stress and discomfort for the animal and can become a choking hazard. Costumes that restrict movement or prevent them from their normal activities, like running or barking may not be a good idea for a long evening.

We recommend snapping a quick picture in the costume, then changing them into something more comfortable like a festive bandana for the rest of the night.

Keep them safe and ID’d

As a precaution, bring your pets inside by nightfall, so they can easily retreat to their quiet space if needed. Much like the July 4th holiday, some unusual events can cause dogs or cats to run and hide from loud noises, unusual sights, and lots of activity.

If your dog or cat has been known to bolt when the door opens, make sure they are wearing the proper tags and ID, so they can easily be returned to you. Alternatively, keep your pet in a separate room, so they cannot escape when trick-or-treaters come to visit.

For some animals, masks and costumes are frightening and may cause them to react out of aggression, fear, or other ways that are unusual to their personality. If your dog or cat is skittish or afraid of costumes, it might be best to keep them indoors while there are Halloween festivities happening outdoors.

Take these precautions so pets and humans alike enjoy the upcoming Halloween festivities! If your dog or cat finds themselves into mischief this Halloween, give our office a call immediately for the best care and treatment.

Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about Halloween safety tips for pets.