Trick or treat! Halloween is almost upon us and goblins and witches will be going door to door chanting that age-old expression. Children running through neighborhoods, squeals of laughter, doorbells ringing, candies and chocolate, and costumes. Halloween is such a fun and exciting night for everyone in the family….right? Sure it’s fun for children and their parents, but what about for your furry friends?
All of these sights and sounds can be overwhelming and down-right scary for cats and dogs. Some tips to keep your pets safe and happy during Halloween festivities are outlined below.
- No candy! Do not share any candy with your pets. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, causing vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures; while candies sweetened with xylitol can cause liver failure. Shiny, crinkly candy wrappers can be appealing to cats and dogs – if wrappers are ingested, they can cause intestinal upset or even a life-threatening blockage. Curious dogs may try to get into the Halloween loot, so be sure to keep it well out of reach.
- Leave your pet at home. As tempting as it is to bring the whole family, it’s best to leave your pet at home as you trick or treat through the neighborhood. The extra people walking about, and all those strange costumes can cause your pet to become agitated.
- Secure you pet in a safe place. A frightened dog or cat may escape through an open door when it’s answered to give out candy. And let’s face it, the door gets opened a lot on Halloween! Dogs may become territorial when strangers come to the door. Keep pets in a separate area of your home if possible.
- Halloween decorations. While decorations help to set the festive mood, they can be tempting for curious pets. Carved pumpkins are non-toxic, but consuming raw pumpkin can cause gastrointestinal upset. Colorful corncobs and gourds are attractive, but can cause stomach upset and obstructions in the intestinal tract. Use battery powered candles in carved pumpkins to prevent fires if a pet accidentally topples a pumpkin.
- Pet costumes. Pet costumes are fun for a few minutes of photo opportunities on Instagram or Facebook, but be sure the costume you have chosen is safe for your pet. Be sure it fits properly be sure your pet can see, hear, and breathe properly. Do not leave your pets alone or out of sight when dressed in a costume.
Go ahead and celebrate Halloween, but spend a few minutes to make sure that you pet is safe and happy during the celebrations! Trick or treat!