Pets are creatures of habits and can become scared by unaccustomed sights & sounds. With the help of our friends at the ASPCA we were able to compile a list of Halloween pet safety tips so your dog or cat doesn't become a scaredy cat on the run. With these simple tips you and your entire family can enjoy the tricks and treats that are en-store.
1. Don't Indulge Your Pets Sweet tooth in other words "No tricks, No treats". Although it is customary to give your dog a treat after performing a trick. Remember that bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.
- Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate—and even seizures.
- Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.
- Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.
2. Jack-O-Lanterns Beware of Dog! Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed.
3. Inform your pet that wires are not chew toys, who are we kidding. Be on the safe side and keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
4. Place live flame decorations out of paws reach. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.
6. Make sure pet costume is safe. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturel or donning a festive bandana.
7. Make sure pet costume has no defects. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
8. Create Safe Haven & Refuge. Unless your pet is ultra friendly and doesn't mind loud noises, music and lots of people playing dress up. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets. Place your pet in a room with food and water for the night and check in on them and give potty breaks.
9. Keep eye out for escaping pets & four legged house jail breakers. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside. Make sure windows are closed so your dog or cat doesn't get the itch to flea the scene. DON'T leave dog outside.
10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.
11. Don't let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Children may have a difficult time handling a pet during the festivities and your pooch could get loose, especially if your dog is spooked by the strange sights and sounds of trick-or-treaters.