Halloween is right around the corner. While ghosts and goblins, superheroes and ninjas, princesses a plethora of costumed curtness hits the sidewalk to collect goodies door to door and have a fun time, it can be a total nightmare for your pets.
Yes, pets are indeed members of the family, but Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets! All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous or even deadly for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, and seizures. A lesser known threat: those Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol which can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures! (The jury is still out on how harmful it is for cats but really, why risk it?)
Keep all candy out of pet’s reach, and kid’s costumes, too. Candy wrappers, aluminum foil, plastic pieces, masks, wigs, etc… all can cause serious blockage if ingested!
For obvious reasons, don’t leave your pets out in the yard on Halloween. Costumed and masked visitors can be disconcerting and who wants to risk a bite to a little trick-or-treater? On the other hand, there are some downright nasty people in this world and every Halloween we hear of some animal suffering on this holiday.
Indoor pets should be kept safely away from the door where little ghosts and goblins will be asking for candy! Frequently opening the door only increases the chances for your pet to take advantage of the opportunity to run outside. Remember, too, that dogs are already pretty territorial and may become uncomfortable or confused by costumed guests at the door screaming “TRICK OR TREAT”! Just turn the TV on in a different room and secure them there for the free hours it lasts.
You don’t hear about it as often in recent years, but there still are those weirdoes who will mess with cats (regardless of the color) on Halloween. Again, why risk it? Keep cats safely indoors all of Halloween week!
Keep Halloween and autumnal decorations safely out of your pet’s reach. Even though things like pumpkin and corn aren’t toxic to pets, an over- zealous chewer may ingest too much and this can result in an intestinal blockage.
Here’s a no brainer! Lit jack-o-lanterns should not be accessible to pets! A rambunctious Retriever or Shepherd tail can knock one over and cats are way too curious. Why risk a painful burn or even a fire should they knock one over?
Electrical cords and decorations also have the potential of being chewed and causing cuts and/or electrical shock. Pet proof for your pet’s safety!
Yes, stores sell them and they are cute, but make sure your pet truly enjoys wearing a costume it. And if they do, make sure it won’t unsafely be constricting movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark/meow! If you are doing the costume thing, please get pets into them a few times before Halloween so they are at least used to it. If they appear distressed, allergic, or present abnormal behavior, ditch the costume. A possible alternative is a seasonal bandana.
Be sure to have a well- fitting collar with a secure clasp and attached to it pet IDs with current contact information on all your pets. AND if you have your pet microchipped, ensure that information is up to date, too. We want to be sure if they come to our shelter they get home as soon as they can!