Every autumn North Americans spend oodles of money on Halloween decorations, candy, and costumes for their kids and their pets. It’s a festive time for the kiddo’s, but it can be dangerous and traumatizing for pets. We can make this Halloween uber safe for our pets by following a few easy steps.
1. Trick or Treat Candy is NOT for animals. Chocolate is a dangerous and poisonous food for pets, it can cause gastrointestinal issue, heart problems, seizures and even death, especially for dogs. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Although xylitol’s toxicity in cats is still undetermined, why take any chances. Keep these products in a secure place where your pets will not have access to them, or don’t have them in your home at all.
2. Keep your pets indoors. Don’t leave your pet outdoors where they can be easily frightened, teased, or may even get loose because someone left the gate open. Make sure your pets have an ID tag on them in case they do dart out the door or yard. Remember pets can quickly get spooked and overwhelmed with unfamiliar people in strange costumes coming into your yard and ringing your doorbell. Dogs may react aggressively and growl in an effort to protect its environment. Keeping them in the home and away from the door is kind and considerate to your pet.
3. Don’t Put Your Pet in a Costume. We may enjoy seeing our pets in cute outfits, but it can be incredibly annoying and unsafe for your pet. If you have to dress your pet, make sure the costume is loose, easy to remove, and does not obstruct their vision.
4. Don’t Keep Lit Decorations Near Pets. There are many holiday decorations like Jack-o-lanterns and candles that require a flame. These can be very dangerous to pets and family. It offers a potential to burn your pets and a great chance of being knocked over and starting a fire.
5. Keep Wires Out of Reach. Pets love to chew on wires and plastic. They could possibly choke on the wire or get an electric shock. Keeping ornaments safely out of your pets reach is imperative.
What we can do is offer a peaceful and quiet area where our pets can relax during Halloween. We want our pets to feel safe and secure so having their favorite bed, blanket and toy around them would be reassuring. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water and a dish of healthy pet food.