I’m not trying to dampen the festivities, but if you're a pet parent, I urge you to familiarize yourself with these tips for keeping pets safe at Halloween. It’s so easy to get carried away with all your preparations that you forget there are some simple precautions that will keep Puppy Dog and Kitty Cat safe whatever spooky events unfold at your house. You don’t want a scaredy cat or a petrified pooch, so here are tips for keeping pets safe at Halloween as advised by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
1. Trick or Treat Them Not!
If you’re throwing a party, the house is probably going to be full of candy. If not, you’ve probably stocked up on the sweet stuff for the trick-or-treaters who come a-knocking. The rule is – and one of the most important tips for keeping pets safe at Halloween – candy is for human consumption only. Human candy should carry a health warning for pets. The major culprits are chocolate in any form and candies containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener. If you’re going to treat your pets this Halloween, use animal treats.
2. Pumpkin Hazards
A Halloween house just wouldn’t be right without pumpkins, right? As well as being essential décor, they’re also extremely tasty and very healthful for us humans. While cooked pumpkins and squash are okay for pets, raw pumpkin can cause tummy upsets. Prevent your pets from nibbling on your jack-o-lanterns to avoid an impromptu visit to the vet or time wasted cleaning up your pet’s own Halloween treats! Also, take care where you place your pumpkins if you are lighting them with candles. You don’t want pets knocking them over to cause a fire or to get burned themselves. Kittens and puppies will be especially curious of a flickering jack-o-lantern.
This is common sense really and applies to Thanksgiving and Christmas too. If you are decorating with electric lights or other electricity-powered decorations, be sure to keep the wires and cords out of reach of pets.
4. Dressing up
It might seem fun to dress your pet up for Halloween but pets are like humans in this respect – some will love it, others will hate it. You’ll know well enough if your pet is stressed by whatever garb you are foisting on them. If they hate it – stop. A stressed out pet is no substitute for being able to say, aww how cute! If your pet is a bit of a diva and loves to strut their stuff in a costume make sure the costume is safe. It shouldn’t constrict movement and it shouldn’t impede hearing or smelling, and your pet should be able to breathe normally and bark and meow. Be sure the costume doesn’t have hazards that can be chewed off and choked on and that it fits well – doesn’t twist or loosen when pet is walking.
A constant stream of visitors is probably not the norm at your house. Even the most sociable of pets can find it wearing and stressful. Children and adults are more inclined to pet a pet in someone’s house than in the street but you want to avoid any nasty incident or injury to either party. Your furry baby can be overwhelmed by too many people attempting to pet them so the best thing is to keep your dog or cat in a separate room and away from the front door. If you’re having a party, put the pets in a room away from the guests and put a note on the door if you can’t lock it.
The best and safest place for your pets on Halloween is at home, indoors. Make sure your pet doesn’t make a dash for the outdoors when you open the door for trick-or-treaters.
This is important for keeping your pets safe at all times and not just Halloween, although Halloween probably presents many more opportunities for a pet to escape the house than at other times of the year. Your pet should have an identity disc on their collar so people finding them know immediately where to return them to. A microchip is also a great way to reduce the risk of your pet being permanently lost.
Your pet is important to you and with just a minimum of effort you can ensure they stay safe during all the shenanigans of Halloween. What do you do for your pets at Halloween?