Halloween is a lot of fun for humans, but it can be more than a little scary for our pets. In fact, Halloween is the most dangerous holiday for pets after the Fourth of July. As conscientious and responsible pet owners, it’s our job to do whatever we need to avoid any Halloween horrors on behalf of our animals.
Here are our 10 top tips to help keep your pet safe this Halloween.
1. Don’t Share Halloween Candy With Your Pet
Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to our animals. You may be tempted to split your stash of Halloween candy with your pet but doing so could make them very sick. Chocolate poisoning is one of the most common types of pet poisoning seen by vets, while xylitol which is found in sugary candies is also harmful to animals, even in small quantities.
2. Keep Other Halloween Foods Well Away From Your Pet
Sadly, it isn’t just Halloween candies that aren’t safe to be shared with our animals. Corn and pumpkin are also around in abundance and can be harmful if our pets eat them, causing gastrointestinal upset and even blockages.
3. Don’t Let Your Pets Near The Door
With trick or treaters coming and going and other Halloween fun taking place, chances are you’ll be opening and closing doors fairly frequently. Unfortunately, this will give your pet an opportunity to escape if they are so inclined. Make sure you keep them safe by securing them in a room well away from the front door and give them food and water to keep them comfortable.
4. Take Your Dog For Walks Before It Gets Dark
The dark can be scary enough without seeing lots of monsters, vampires, witches, and zombies roaming the streets. If you usually have an evening walk, be sure to take your dog out before it gets dark.
5. Make Sure Your Pet’s Microchip Is Up To Date
While you will undoubtedly take steps to keep your pet safe indoors this Halloween, if they do run off and become lost, it’s important that they can be reunited with you. You can increase the likelihood of this happening by ensuring that they are microchipped and that the chip is up to date with your current details.
6. Don’t Have Lit Pumpkins Or Other Candles Around Your Pets
Candles create an eerie atmosphere that’s perfect for Halloween, but any sort of open flame poses a risk around your pet. If they get too close, they could burn themselves or even knock the candles over and start a house fire. Stick to battery-operated varieties if you have pets.
7. Don’t Force Your Pet Into A Costume
Animals in costumes look incredibly cute, but many animals dislike the materials used and feeling of confinement that can come with getting dressed up. Watch your pet carefully for signs that they may dislike what they are wearing and be sure not to leave your pet in costume unsupervised as they may get wrapped up in it or pull of pieces that they could choke on.
8. Be Careful With Decorations
Decorating is all part of the fun of Halloween, but many decorations that we don’t give a second thought to can be hazardous to our pets. Animals can get tangled in cobwebs and cords, choke on fake eyeballs and rubber spiders or be electrocuted by chewing on lights and wires. Be mindful with how you decorate your home this spooky season.
9. Bring In Outdoor Pets
If you have cats that roam outdoors or other animals that live in your yard, be sure to bring them in before Halloween. Unfortunately, Halloween is known for pranks and some of these are unfortunately aimed at animals. Black cats are particularly targeted for cruel Halloween pranks. Whatever animals you have, keep them safely at home.
10. Prepare For Emergencies
It always pays to be prepared just in case you do experience a horrifying Halloween pet emergency. Stock up your pet first aid kit and make sure you have the contact number of your emergency veterinary clinic at hand.
For more Halloween pet safety tips, get in touch with our spooktacular veterinary team at Country Veterinary Clinic by calling (530) 491-4500.