Halloween can be a fun event for families and their pets. However, if safety precautions aren’t taken, it can also be a hazardous time for our four-legged companions.
Here are some tips that can help protect your pets on Halloween:
1. Pet Costumes
Your safest choice in a pet Halloween costume would be a loosely tied bandana; however, if you choose to dress up your pet, outfit your dog or cat with a simple approach. Pets can become tangled in elaborate, tight-fitting costumes with strings, ties, belts and sashes. Difficulty in mobility can lead to bodily injury, including strangulation.
Never leave a pet unattended while wearing a costume. Parts of a costume can become chewed and ingested and can in turn potentially lead to ingestion which can be life threatening to your pet.
2. Halloween Decorations and Fire Hazards
If you like to decorate your home in the Halloween spirit, take into consideration what you’re putting on display and where the decorations will be placed. Easy-to-reach decorations or candles can be eaten or knocked over, potentially leading to choking, ingestion, electrical shock and even burns and a fire. Err on the side of caution while decorating and choose pet-safe products.
3. Noise Affects Pets
Dogs and cats can become skittish and anxiety ridden on Halloween due to the incessant ringing of the doorbell, constant squeals and chatter just outside the door, and small fireworks set off in the street.
Strangers dressed in unfamiliar and scary costumes can alarm some pets, increasing their anxiety. Take extra precaution on Halloween: gauge your pet’s typical reaction while greeting visitors and decide if putting up a baby gate or leaving your dog or cat in a back room of the house would keep them calmer throughout the evening.
4. Candy and Chocolate Are Toxic
Candy and chocolate are never good for dogs or cats and on Halloween there is an increased chance that Fluffy and Fido may consume some of these treats.
- Chocolate and xylitol, a sweetener found in many candies, can be extremely toxic to pets.
- Lollipops and their sticks can be choking hazards and cause a painful obstruction or foreign body ingestion that may require surgery to remove.
- Candies wrapped in plastic and other types of wrapping can also lead to chocking or cause an obstruction and upset stomach.
Easy solutions to prevent accidental toxicity or ingestion:
- Keep pet-safe treats on hand to satisfy your curious pet.
- Make sure all candies are out of your pet’s reach.
- Consider leaving your pet in another part of the house where exposure to hazards is impossible.
5. Lost Pets
Halloween isn’t an ideal time to let your dog or cat wander outside unattended. While there aren’t any documented reports or statistics to indicate that pet abduction increases on Halloween, be mindful that a prankster or a mean-spirited individual could be inspired to mess with your pet.
Take caution and keep pets indoors with you, or escort them outside on a leash if you plan on including your pet in neighborhood festivities. Sudden noises and strange looking costumes can also spook your pet, causing them to run away, therefore, it’s always a good idea to have a collar and identification tags on your pet in case you become separated.
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