Witches, goblins, and a constant parade of kids at your door are a lot of fun at Halloween – but your dog or cat may not feel the same. When planning your Halloween, keep your pet’s personality in mind so your dog or cat feels comfortable and has fun too! To help your pet have a blast, here are 4 tips to keep your dog or cat safe this Halloween
Secure your pet for Halloween night.
Whether you plan to be home or go out for Halloween, it’s best to keep your dog or cat inside for the night. Here are a few tips to help secure your pet for a safe Halloween:
- Update your pet’s tag and microchip in case they get out or run away.
- Put your pet in a quiet room or use a crate – somewhere your pet will feel secure and safe.
- Instead of having a constant stream of knocks and ding-dongs at your door, sit outside to greet trick-or-treaters. Reducing the number of people coming to your door will help your pet feel less anxious.
- Leave your dog at home if you go out trick-or-treating. All the people, costumes, and decorations may be too much excitement for your dog.
Keep the candy stashed away.
Chocolate, gum, and sugar-free candies are bad for dogs and cats – not to mention the wrappers your pet may consume as they try to get to these “treats.” So make sure you place your candy somewhere your dog or cat can’t get to it.
Also, keep an eye on your kids. They may decide to “share” some candy with your dog or cat. To make sure your pet doesn’t feel left out – and help your kids learn what your pet can eat – get your kids involved with making Halloween pet treats your dog can enjoy!
If you think your pet ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
Pet-proof your Halloween decorations.
Cobwebs, spooky lights, and fall-scented potpourri are fun to have around the house, but your pet may see it as a new toy to explore. Here are a few things to consider:
- Glow sticks, candy wrappers, plastic packaging, and wires are all items your pet may want to chew on. Decorate your home so these items are out of your pet’s reach or consider replacing them with pet-friendly Halloween decorations.
- Watch pumpkins with candles. A wagging tail can knock these over and start a fire or singe the fur of smaller pets like cats, kittens, or small dogs.
- Pumpkins and corn stalks are Halloween favorites for decorating. And while they aren’t toxic to animals, pumpkins and corn stalks can cause stomach problems if your dog or cat munches on them.
Choose pet costumes carefully.
Pet costumes are cute and fun – but not all dogs and cats like them. When thinking about getting your pet a costume, keep these things in mind:
- Choose what your pet will find comfortable. A hat and mask may be good for a picture, but not for wearing all night.
- Make sure the costume fits well, isn’t restricting, and your pet can bark or meow in it.
- Watch for any small pieces your dog or cat can chew. These can cause choking or stomach problems if swallowed.
- Have your dog or cat try on the costume before Halloween to see how they behave. If your pet shows any signs of distress or abnormal behavior, take the costume off and consider letting them wear a bandana or nothing at all.
- Never leave a costumed pet alone.
If you need more guidance picking out a pet costume, check out this article.