Halloween Safety Tips for Pets
Halloween can be frightfully fun for humans, but this holiday can be particularly scary for pets. While you’re partaking in all the spooky festivities today, keep these safety tips in mind for your dogs and cats.
Make sure costumes fit properly and do not make your pet anxious.
If you plan to dress up your pet for Halloween, be patient with your pet when presenting the costume. Try to introduce the costume slowly by laying it out on the floor in front of your pet. If your pet ignores or avoids the costume, place a treat on top of the costume to help your pet form a positive association with the outfit.
When dressing your pet, pay attention to his or her behavior. If your pet seems anxious or stressed by the process, you may have to forego the costume this year. If your pet seems comfortable in the costume, make sure that the costume fits properly and does not impair your pet’s vision, hearing, or mobility.
Be aware of your pet’s reactions to people dressed up in costume.
Even if your pet is comfortable wearing a costume, he or she might be genuinely scared of other people or pets who are dressed up. Your pet may try to run away from costumed characters you encounter throughout the night. Be vigilant and watch for signs of aggression as well, as even the nicest dogs can react aggressively if they feel threatened or are placed in an unfamiliar environment.
Watch for signs of stress and have an exit strategy.
Whether you are staying home or taking your pet trick-or-treating, have a backup plan in mind. If the constant ringing of the doorbell is stressing out your pet, find a quiet, secluded place in your home for your pet to stay. If your pet is anxious while out and about, devise a plan for you or someone in your family to return home with your pet.
Keep the candy out of reach!
It’s no secret that candy can be toxic for pets. Make sure that all candy is kept well out of reach of your dogs and cats. Be especially wary of chocolate or any candy made with xylitol, a common artificial sweetener. If your pet ingests a potentially toxic substance, call your local emergency veterinarian immediately.
Be mindful of decorations and wires.
Keep an eye on your pets and make sure they do not chew on any wires or knock over candles. Kittens and puppies are particularly at risk for exploring candle flames or playing with wires.
Make sure your pet is easily identifiable.
Double check your pet’s identification tag and microchip information to ensure your contact information is up to date. That way, you can help ensure that you are reunited with your pet as promptly as possible if you get separated.
By following these simple safety tips, you and your pets can have a safe and happy Halloween!