Trick or treat? Costumes, pumpkins, and candy galore! It’s a favorite holiday for many and one that carries a lot of fun activities! And while most of the family will partake in various Halloween activities, let us not forget our four-legged family members and some of the threats posed to their health during this time of year. Here are six ways to keep your pets safe this Halloween.
1) Keep the Candy Up and Away: The biggest reason for Halloween-related veterinary visits are usually from our dogs getting into the candy stash. And while most of us know that chocolate can be particularly dangerous, even non-chocolate candies can cause serious gastrointestinal problems and make your dog severely ill. If your dog does get into the candy stash, call a veterinarian and/or the Animal Poison Control Center asap for further instructions.
2) Help Ease Their Stress: For some pets, the noise and commotion from trick or treaters can be stressful. If your pet gets agitated by the constant doorbell ringing, it might be best to place them somewhere quiet where it won’t be as noisy. It’s an even bigger bonus if someone can spend time in the room with them, with the TV on, and try and distract them from what may be going on at the front door. If a change of environment isn’t helpful, talk to your veterinarian about a safe sedative to help ease their anxiety.
3) Be Mindful of Costume Accessories: Some costumes may include fun extras like hats, swords, wings, etc. Be mindful about not leaving these items where your dog might mistake them as one of their toys. In addition to candy consumption, some veterinary visits during this time of year may include a pet swallowing a foreign object. While dogs aren’t always particularly picky about what they might consume, cats tend to be attracted to anything string or yarn-like.
4) Dressing up Your Pet? Make Sure Their Costume is also Comfortable: Some of us are lucky enough to have pets that enjoy (or at least tolerate) dressing up in a costume for Halloween. Even if your pet doesn’t seem to object, make sure that the costume you choose isn’t too tight and is easy to put on and take off.
5) Keep Pets Indoors: With all the commotion that trick or treating can create, it is probably best to keep your pets indoors. Hearing a bunch of strange voices and seeing strange people could be stressful for them. Keeping them indoors in a quiet environment is best for most pets during Halloween.
6) Make Sure ID Tags and Microchip Info is Updated: It’s often around a noisy holiday that pets will dart outdoors or escape yards after being spooked by the noise. Make sure that your pet’s collar is on, along with an identification tag that includes a phone number. If your pet is microchipped, make sure the information attached to that chip is also up-to-date.