From the hordes of costumed children ringing the doorbell all night and the bowl of chocolate bars left on the end table, to the scary animatronic witch on the front porch, Halloween can be a stressful and even dangerous time for pets.
Fortunately, Halloween pet safety is pretty simple, and mostly boils down to common sense and a bit of planning and supervision. While you make your last minute preparations for the big day, keep our tips in mind to meet your goals for an uneventful holiday for your furry companion.
Speaking of Chocolate…
Eating something they shouldn’t is one of the biggest threats facing pets during the days and weeks surrounding Halloween, and chocolate is on the top of that list. Ingestion of chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heart rate, among other things. The sugar substitute Xylitol, found in sugar free candy, gum, peanut butter, and baked goods can sicken or kill a pet.
Regardless of what’s in your candy bowl or in your kids’ trick-or-treat bags, make sure none of it is left lying around where your pet can reach it. Even “safe” candy has too much sugar, fat, and calories for a pet.
The Costume Conundrum
There’s something incredibly endearing about a pet in costume, but chances are good our four-legged friends don’t enjoy them as much as we do. Pet costumes should be properly fitting and not obscure vision, breathing, movement, or inhibit bathroom needs. A safe costume won’t have any dangling strings or other parts, nor will it have buttons or anything small that can be chewed off and swallowed.
Remove your pet’s costume immediately if they are showing signs of stress, such as refusal to move, whining/howling, shaking, or trying to run away. A cute orange bandana tied around the collar or leash is a safe way to stay festive.
It probably goes without saying that having a lit Jack-o-lantern indoors is a no-no, but there are other seasonal decorations that can cause trouble for a curious pets. Make sure all strings of lights are out of reach, as they can lead to electric shock if chewed on. Animatronic displays can also be scary for pets, and should be used sparingly if at all.
Halloween Pet Safety
Pets tend to go missing more often during any holiday, and Halloween is no exception. Couple that with the fact that pets may be a target for cruel tricks or worse during this time of year, and it just makes sense to keep your pet indoors and out of harm’s way. Double check your pet’s microchip registration information and their collar and ID tags ahead of time, just to be safe.
If you have further questions or concerns regarding Halloween pet safety, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the staff at East Sacramento Veterinary Center.