Some pets love the hustle and bustle of Halloween, while others find this holiday a bit stressful. While it can be the spookiest night of the year, keeping your pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky. Here are some ASPCA recommendations with common-sense precautions to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Stash the Treats
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy and Fluffy. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms – especially dark or baking chocolate – can be very dangerous for cats and dogs. Sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the 24-hour ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Popular Halloween treats such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively non-toxic. Still, they can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
Be careful with Costumes
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. The ASPCA recommends that you not put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know they love it. If you dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit their movement, sight, or ability to breathe, bark, or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. A good alternative to an outfit is a festive bandana.
Keep pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door. Too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And, always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification. If for any reason they do escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.