With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to prepare with creative costumes, spooky décor, and tasty treats. Your pet can join in the fun, too – with some limitations, of course! While Halloween is a holiday that all can enjoy, it’s essential to keep your pet safe by eliminating some potential dangers that may be lurking in or around your home.
We’ve compiled a list of the top scary Halloween dangers for pets to avoid this season.
1. Stash the Sweets in an Inaccessible Location
While the occasional chunk of chicken or cheese can be an excellent treat for a dog, there are many human foods that pets cannot safely consume. This Halloween, ensure that any harmful foods are out of your pet’s reach. Halloween candy is a primary culprit of ill pets in October as most candy contains a high amount of sugar. Chocolate, in particular, is one of the most toxic substances to pets. Be aware that certain treats that may seem healthy, like grapes and raisins, can also be poisonous to dogs.
2. Use Caution When Dressing Up Your Pet
We love seeing our pets dressed up in silly costumes, like pirates, butterflies, robbers, or superheroes. However, not all pets are comfortable wearing these garments. First, consider your dog’s age and temperament when deciding to purchase a costume. Some dogs may exhibit signs of stress or anxiety. If this happens, don’t force him to wear it. Instead, consider compromising with a simple bowtie or bandana. If your pet doesn’t mind dressing up, choose a costume that does not limit movement or his ability to see, hear, drink, or eat.
3. Keep Halloween Decorations Out of Reach
If you’re like many families in October, your house may be filled with plastic pumpkins, floating ghosts, and other fun Halloween décor. Most types of Halloween decorations are entirely safe for pets, but there are a few you’ll want to watch out for. First, if you are lighting jack o’ lanterns, avoid using real candles in favor of battery-operated candles. Curious pets could become singed or even burned by candle flame. You’ll also want to be aware of what Halloween plant life your pet is eating. While things like pumpkin and decorative corn are considered nontoxic, they can cause stomach upset.
4. Discard Candy Wrappers and Other Packaging
It’s normal to get excited about the Halloween festivities and leave a chocolate bar wrapper on the counter or your costume packaging on the bed. However, some dogs may use this opportunity to chew on or eat the trash. Candy wrappers and other non-food items can become lodged in the digestive tract, causing life-threatening complications like intestinal blockages. Even something as simple as a caramel apple stick can be harmful to your pet if consumed. Play it safe by always discarding these items in a trash can that your pet cannot access.
5. Don’t Let Your Pet Play with Glow Jewelry
Glow jewelry is a Halloween essential for many families with children. Glow sticks and glow jewelry contain a liquid chemical known as dibutyl phthalate, which gives it its special glow, surrounded by plastic tubing. Although glow sticks and glow jewelry are considered nontoxic, they can still pose certain risks. If consumed, they can irritate your pet’s mouth and stomach. Your pet may also exhibit foaming at the mouth or profuse drooling.
6. Ensure that Your Pet Is Identifiable When Outdoors
Plan on taking your pet trick-or-treating or to another fun Halloween event? Make sure that he can be easily identified in the dark and if he becomes lost in the crowds. First, use a glow-in-the-dark or reflective collar that will help you see him in all types of lighting. Next, ensure that his collar contains ID tags with your name, phone number, and address. Get your pet microchipped and if he already is, check to see that all the information is updated.
7. Be Wary of Trick-or-Treaters in Costumes
If you’re staying home this Halloween to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, you’re bound to have a good time. Highly sociable dogs can also stick around to see the kids get their goodies and possibly enjoy a few pets. However, if your pet seems anxious when strangers show up at the door or shows any sign of aggression, it’s best to keep him in a separate room and away from the front door.
8. Leave Unattended Glasses of Alcohol Around
Did you know that dogs enjoy the taste of a White Russian? Or that cats will often take the opportunity to sample a fruity wine cooler? Alcohol is a standard part of Halloween for adults, but it’s important not to leave your beverages where your pets can get them. Beer, wine, cocktails, and other alcoholic drinks can be toxic to pets. Pets that ingest alcohol may develop symptoms of drunkenness, such as sleepiness, weakness, poor coordination, or even vomiting. It can also impact their body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.
Keep Your Pet Safe this Halloween
The things that many humans enjoy on Halloween can be dangerous for your pet. Keep your pet safe this year by following a few simple safety tips and by being aware of your pet’s surroundings.