Halloween Safety

It’s getting spooky out there! It can be tempting to include your furry friend in your Halloween celebrations, but it is always most important to keep your pet’s safety in mind.

Food

Many foods that we enjoy during the holiday season can be harmful for your pet, especially candy. The chocolate in popular Halloween candies should not be ingested by your pets, as the theobromine found in chocolate can be toxic. Many candies also contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can make your pet sick. Keep a close eye on your pet to ensure that they don’t get into anything that they shouldn’t, as they are easy to lose track of during celebrations. For a complete list of foods harmful for cats and dogs by the ASPCA, click here.

Anxiety

Halloween is not a very fun holiday for pets that suffer from anxiety. Even for those only with mild anxiety, the constant door-bell ringing and dressed up strangers can be trying. It may seem like a good idea to have your dog greet trick-or-treaters, but this gives your pet the opportunity to escape out of the open front door, into the dark.  This puts an anxious pet in danger, as it could become overwhelmed by the activity around it and misbehave. Keep your pet confined in a safe place in your home to ensure that they aren’t stressed by the festivities.

If you elect to take your dog trick-or-treating with you, or on a walk on Halloween night, make sure that your pet not only has appropriate tags on but is also microchipped. Practice good leash walking behavior and try to avoid walking in crowds where your pet can become overwhelmed and lash out, or in especially dark areas where they can easily become lost or frightened. This may also be the night to leave your pets at home, and not have them accompany you to parties.

Costumes and Decorations

If you are planning to dress your pet in a costume for Halloween, be sure that you are keeping your pet’s best interests in mind. Make sure that the costume is comfortable and allows a regular range of motion. The costume should be loose around your pet’s neck and does not restrict breathing. Avoid costumes with easy to chew pieces, or small, detachable pieces. Do not dress your pet in costumes with masks, as they can restrict breathing and impede vision.

When it comes to Halloween décor, safety comes first. Like with costumes, avoid décor with easy to reach pieces, or small, detachable pieces that your pet can swallow or choke on. Keep things like strings or cords out of your pet’s reach by tucking or taping them up and keeping them out of sight.

Remember to keep Halloween fun and safe for both you and your pet!