Halloween is almost here! Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved Halloween but… not everyone loves Halloween. In fact, many animals are downright terrified by the holiday. In addition to being scary, Halloween can be dangerous to our pets. It is important all pet parents know the four most common Halloween pet hazards and how to keep their pets safe this Halloween.
The spooky decorations, eerie noises, ghoulishly dressed little people ringing doorbells and yelling “trick-or-treat” can be frightening to our pets. If you have a nervous, shy or easily frightened pet it is best to keep them inside your house and away from the door. Likewise, if your pet is very protective, keep your pet safely secured inside the house. Sadly, many frightened pets get lost during Halloween every year when they dart out of an open front door or escape from their yard. It’s best to keep your dog safely away from the commotion in a back room and give them a treat or toy to keep them busy. West Paw makes a variety of interactive toys. The West Paw Toppl can be filled with your dog’s favorite treat or food to keep them engaged, mentally stimulated and distracted from the scary sounds and ghouls and goblins at the door.
Scary trick-or-treaters aren’t the worst hazard to our pets. Candy is probably the biggest danger. As most people, know chocolate is toxic to our pets and can be fatal. However, it’s not just chocolate that we have to watch out for. Candy with xylitol, like sugar-free gum, is also vey dangerous to pets. Xylitol causes insulin release and low blood sugar levels and can lead to liver failure. Be sure to keep all Halloween candy away from your pets. If your pet manages to steal some candy, immediately call your veterinarian for help or take your pet to a veterinary emergency clinic.
Halloween decorations can be another big danger to our pets. Flickering candles, jack-o-lanterns, and twinkling lights don’t just capture our attentions, pets are curious by nature and are drawn to these lights as well. Unfortunately, pets can get burned if they get too close to a candle or jack-o-lanterns, or worse, start a house fire. Instead of using traditional candles, use battery operated candles. These are much safer for you and your pets. Halloween lights are pretty but can also be dangerous to ours pets. Pets can get tangled in lights, or worse yet, they can get electrocuted if they chew on them.
Some people, like me, love to dress their pet up for Halloween. Just be sure you use a costume made especially for pets and never leave them in a costume unattended. Pet costumes are designed to fit your pet comfortably and to come off easily. Even so, you should never leave your pet alone in a costume. Some animals may decide to take their costume off themselves and become entangled, while others may decide to eat the costume in order to ensure they won’t have to wear it again.
This Halloween, make it a priority to keep your pets safe and sound. Keep your cats inside if you don’t already do so, and put your dog in a back room, especially if they are shy, nervous, or easily frightened by kids, loud noises, and lights. Be aware of common Halloween hazards like candy and decorations. Finally, if your pet doesn’t already have a collar, ID tag and microchip, get these before Halloween just in case your pet gets frightened and runs away during all the spooky commotion.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!