Halloween is a fun time for families, but it can be a hazardous one for pets. From candy to costumes, there are a few potential dangers that all pet parents should be aware of. Make sure your fur kids stay safe this Halloween with these safety tips.
Keep Candy Out of Pet's Reach
Many types of Halloween candy are dangerous for pets, especially dogs. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can result in seizures, heart problems and fatal reactions. Keep in mind that dark chocolate is worse for dogs than milk chocolate or white chocolate, but all chocolate should be kept out of reach. Chocolate can be dangerous for cats, too, but cats don’t usually eat these sweet treats. Hard candies should also be kept away from pets, since they can be a choking hazard. Candy that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute, can also be fatal to dogs, even in small amounts. Xylitol is sometimes used in peanut butter and sugar-free candies.
Make Sure Your Pets Have Microchips
Between trick or treaters at the door and family members coming and going, Halloween gives dogs and other pets a good opportunity to get loose. If you can’t block off your door or entryway from pets, make sure they are microchipped. Having a microchip means that you’re more likely to be reunited with lost pets much sooner. If you have cats or dogs that are escape artists, consider keeping them in another room with the door closed if possible.
Watch Nervous Pets Closely
Some pets can easily become scared of certain costumes, such as costumes that feature a mask or ones that make people look bigger. Some might also be startled by costumes that make sudden noises or have flashing lights. If you have pets who are afraid of costumes, try to keep them away from the door while trick or treaters are around. If you have dogs who are nervous and tend to bark at strangers at the door, it’s also a good idea to put them in another part of your home for the evening.
Choose Pet Costumes with Care
If you plan on putting pets in costumes for Halloween, choose ones that are safe for them to wear. Some costumes can be dangerous for pets, such as those with strings or loose parts that can become strangulation hazards. If your pets don’t like wearing costumes, avoid making them do so. This reduces the risk of having them accidentally hurt themselves while trying to get out of their costume.
With these tips, you can keep your pets safe and out of harm’s way in your home this Halloween. If you’ll be bringing them outside with you while taking the kids trick or treating, don’t forget to keep them on a 6' leash at all times for their safety.