You’ve purchased the candy, laid out the costumes, decorated the yard, and pulled out the scary soundtracks to greet the trick-or-treaters who will descend upon your home in droves. The only thing left on your list is to review a few tips to make Halloween as safe and fun for your pet as it will be for you (and all those ghosts and goblins on your doorstep).
From candy, that is. Chocolate, xylitol, and other ingredients and sweeteners can be dangerous to your pet. From causing upset stomachs to serious renal failure, the treats that fill your candy bowl can cause great harm to your loved one. Keep them up high so the colorful crinkly packaging doesn’t become a temptation. For a complete list of foods your pet should avoid, check out this list of potentially harmful foods.
Play it Safe
We all love the festive glow of a pumpkin on Halloween. Rather than risk the danger of burning a curious pet, take extra precautions to keep burning candles where your pet can’t see them. Or, you could eliminate the worry altogether, using LED tea lights, strobe lights, glow sticks, or even Christmas string lights to have the festivity without the fuss.
If you can’t resist the temptation to dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure that the costume allows unrestricted movement and breathing. Take time to look over the costume for any choking hazards or dangers and make sure that the costume allows you to use a leash if you plan to stroll the neighborhood. Also, don’t make this a stressful experience for your pet—if they aren’t into dressing as a Chia Pet or an Ewok, perhaps a headband, bandana, or Halloween-themed leash and collar would work instead.
The one thing you should make sure your pet wears tonight (and every night!) is their ID tag. With doors opening and closing all evening long, pets can easily sneak out unnoticed as you’re filling up fancy treat baskets. Check to make sure your contact information is up to date on your pet’s tag, and that their collar fits correctly. Also, keep a close eye on them as you answer your door. For more pet id options, check out our April post from National Pet ID Week.
A continual barrage of costumed door-knockers may be a little more than your dog or cat can handle for one evening. If unknown guests cause anxiety, you may want to find a safe, quiet room in your home for the trick-or-treating hours. Break out a special Halloween treat or toy to make it an evening of fun for everyone.
Looking for more Halloween pet safety tips? Check out this podcast by the American Association of Veterinarians (AMVA). Happy Howl-o-ween to you and your pets!