Keeping Your Pets Safe on Halloween
Halloween is a time for spooky fun, delicious treats, and imaginative costumes. But for our pets, it can be a night filled with unexpected dangers. Here are some essential tips to ensure your pets have a safe and stress-free Halloween:
1. Limit Access to Candy
Many Halloween candies, especially chocolate and anything containing xylitol (a sugar substitute) also known as birch sugar, are extremely toxic to pets. Keep all human treats out of their reach.
2. Beware of Decorations:
While that flickering jack-o-lantern may look charming, a curious pet could knock it over and start a fire or get burned. Opt for LED candles instead.
Be cautious with decorative corn and gourds; while they aren’t toxic, they can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested.
3. Keep Pets Indoors:
The constant doorbell ringing and oddly-dressed visitors can be stressful and frightening to pets. Set up a quiet, comfortable space away from the front door where your pet can relax.
There’s also a risk of pets escaping when the door opens or even pranksters harming outdoor pets. It’s best to keep them inside.
4. Costume Considerations:
If you decide to dress up your pet, ensure the costume is safe. It should not restrict movement, hearing, or breathing. Always supervise your pet while they’re wearing a costume.
Remember, not all pets enjoy being dressed up. Don’t force a costume on a pet that’s clearly uncomfortable. If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and refrain from dressing your pet up. A cute bandana is always an option.
5. Collars and IDs:
In the unfortunate event that your pet does escape, having an up-to-date ID tag and microchip will significantly increase the chances of a safe return.
6. Limit Glow Sticks and Jewelry:
While the contents of glow sticks aren’t usually toxic, they taste terrible. Pets who bite into one may drool and act strangely.
7. Watch Out for Candy Wrappers:
After the candy is gone, the discarded wrappers can be a choking hazard for pets. Make sure to keep wrappers out of reach and promptly clean up any trash. If you are not sure what to do if your pet is choking, sign up for one of our pet first aid classes here.
8. Desensitize to Noises:
Halloween comes with a mix of sounds, from fireworks to loud laughter. In the lead-up to Halloween, try playing these sounds at a low volume, gradually increasing the volume over time, rewarding your pet for calm behavior. This can help desensitize them to the noise.
9. Communication is Key:
If you’re hosting a Halloween party, inform your guests ahead of time about your pet’s presence and any house rules to ensure their safety.
10. Seek Immediate Veterinary Care:
If you suspect your pet has consumed something toxic, contact your vet or emergency animal clinic immediately. Prompt action can make all the difference. If you suspect poisoning, keep calm and contact the pet poison control hot line. You can ger their number here.
Remember, Halloween should be a fun and festive time for everyone in the family, including our pets. By taking these precautions, you can ensure it remains a treat-filled evening without any tricks for your furry friends!