Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year (for people), and it’s natural to want to try to involve your family pet in all the festivities. HOWEVER, it is important to remember that not all Halloween activities are fun or safe for pets.
Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year, and it’s natural to want to try to involve your family pet in all the festivities. It is important to remember, however, that not all Halloween activities are fun or safe for pets. Here are a few tips to help keep Halloween fun for the four-legged members of your family.
1. People treats are not Pet treats – It is well known that chocolate can be toxic to pets…..even a few snack sized bars can be poisonous to a small dog. The wrappers on all candy can be hazardous if ingested. Sugar-free gum contains xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
2. Decorations can be dangerous – Flames from candles, “fog” from dry ice and cords from electrical décor can all be potential hazards. When creating that spooky ambiance, be aware of keeping your pet away from these potential dangers.
3. Stranger, beware – Halloween can be a frightening time for some pets. The people they know and love put on costumes, masks or make-up and don’t look the same, while complete strangers ring the doorbell again and again and again. It can all be very confusing for our pets. Try to anticipate this and do whatever you can to minimize their stress. If your pets seem worried or anxious, put them in a quiet room. For distraction, turn on the TV, play some music or leave some favorite toys. While dressing your pet up and taking them trick or treating with you may sound fun, be aware of their body language and if they seem anxious or stressed it may be best to leave them behind. Keep in mind that even well-behaved pets may bite if they are scared and stressed enough. Don’t take chances and put your pet in a situation that may trigger this behavior.
4. ID is important – Constantly opening and closing doors to hand out goodies is a risk. A stressed pet could easily bolt through an open door. For that reason, make doubly sure your pet is microchipped and wearing his or her collar with tags for identification.
5. Kitty care alert – It’s sad, but true. Cats, particularly black ones, are at risk of being pet-napped and harmed during Halloween season. If you normally allow your cats to go outside, do your best to keep them indoors during this time.