Halloween Pet Safety Tips

October 22, 2015 10:11 am

Keep pets safely inside away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. Most cats and dogs are not prepared to see tricksters at the door.

  • Make certain that all pets are wearing collars with ID tags and are micro-chipped with up to date information. Frequently opened doors provide perfect opportunities for escape, despite an owner’s best efforts. This too is a good plan year around but highly important on Halloween. 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. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
  • Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween. Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless. Cats – black ones in particular – often fall victim to pranksters. Keep cats safely indoors. This is a good idea all year around but especially during Halloween.
  • Keep candy out of your pet’s reach. Candy can be harmful to pets and chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets. Often the wrappers themselves are very inviting and dangerous to our pets. Cats and kittens can’t resist the shiny crackle wrappers. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
  • Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
  • Decorations should be kept away from pets. Candle flames can potentially set fire to a pet’s fur or they may knock them down endangering the entire family. Dangling decorations should be kept in high places to avoid pet entanglement, choking and other potentially life-threatening hazards. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
  • Keep glow sticks and glow jewelry away from your pets. Although the liquid in these products isn’t likely toxic, it tastes really bad and makes pets salivate excessively and act strangely;
  • If trick-or-treating is the name of your game – know your dog well or leave the family dog at home. Dogs can be difficult to control amidst all the commotion. A lost pet or dog bite will quickly end your Halloween fun.
  • Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it. For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.
  • Use fake cobwebs sparingly outdoors on your trees and bushes. These may adversely affect both pets and wildlife. Small birds are especially vulnerable and can easily become entangled in the webbing.

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