Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! All year long I look forward to the month of October so I can break out my decorations and transform my home into a trick-or-treater’s dream!
But among all the excitement that Halloween brings to kids and adults alike, all those creepy decorations, festive pumpkins, and fabulous costumes can pose a safety hazard for our pets. For that reason, I have compiled a list of things to keep in mind this season to keep our pets safe.
Here is a list of 6 must read tips to keep our pets safe on Halloween.
1.Halloween Decorations – Pumpkins, gourds, and corn husks should be placed where pets will not be tempted to sneak a taste. Although nontoxic for the most part, they can produce mild stomach upset in pets.
Inspect decorations for small pieces which could pose a choking hazard. Glass decorations should be placed out of reach so as not to be broken. Broken decorations can lead to lacerations within the mouth if chewed or on paws if stepped on.
Pay close attention to decorations with electrical wires. Wires should be stashed so that pets are not tempted to chew them. Chewing electrical wires can lead to fire or our pets suffering an electrical shock.
2.Fire Safety – Although I love the flicker and ambiance of real candlelight, I also realize that it can be a potential fire hazard for my cat and dogs. For this reason, I forego the flame and instead use battery operated LED candles for around the house and in my jack-o-lanterns.
The AVMA discourages the use of glow sticks for illuminating around pets since if ingested they can cause excessive salivation and strange behavior.
3.Door Safety – The ringing doorbell, opening & closing of doors, and loud voices can be very stressful for our pets. In all the excitement, cats or dogs could easy escape without being noticed through an open door. For this reason, consider putting your pet in a safe room for the evening. Be sure the safe room is secure, familiar and has plenty of fresh water. Cats will need their litter box!
Bring your outdoor cats indoors 2 days before and keep your cat indoors 2 days after Halloween. Dogs should also be kept inside on the night of Halloween. Black cats are especially vulnerable around this time of year. Keep them safe by keeping them indoors.
The safest place for your pet is at home, but if you do decide to have Fido accompany you on your trick-or-treating, consider using reflective leashes or collars which increase their visibility to oncoming traffic. Also, be sure that your pet is wearing an ID tag with accurate contact information.
4.Candy: According to the ASPCA, Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
5.Halloween Costumes for Pets: The ASPCA recommends that “you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easy to chew-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.”
A good rule of thumb in my opinion is unless you dress your pet regularly, it may be asking for a lot to expect him or her to enjoy dressing up for Halloween. Halloween themed bandanas are a festive alternative to a complete ensemble.
6.Halloween Costumes For People: Although masks and scary costumes are fun for kids and adults, they can be scary, really scary to our pets. Loud voices and children running around only add to our pets’ confusion and fear. Even the most seasoned pet can become overwhelmed in such an environment so consider placing your pets in a quiet room away from all the festivities. In this way you can enjoy your party and guests while your pets get some quiet time alone.
So enjoy your Halloween season and keep your pets safe! If you have any additional ideas for pet safety during Halloween, leave a comment below!