Keeping pets safe during Halloween season

The constant knocking on the door, ringing the doorbell and strangers around the house yelling ‘trick or treat’,  is sure to get your pets worked up. Scaredy cats will probably run and hide but Fido will be sure to do his/her job and protect his ‘human pack’. That means barking and lots of it. We have compiled some helpful tips and information on reducing stress and keeping your pets safe.

Dress-up can be a big no no for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. Some pets prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. Always make sure that fabric is breathable and non-flammable. A good fit is also important in reducing accidents and discomfort. Make sure that there are no dangling or small pieces that your pets could chew off and choke on. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying. 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 perhaps donning a festive bandana, those are always super cute.

No chocolate! The candy bowl may be unattended for a bit, be sure your four legged friends can’t get into the candy. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

We all love those elaborately carved pumpkins. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets are curious by nature, they can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames. A safer option may be a battery operated candle.

Even 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. They may not act like themselves. Be careful when opening the door for trick or treaters so that your pet doesn’t dart outside. Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

Pets are family. They depend on us to keep them safe and be their voice. Keeping the above safety tips in mind, Happy Haunting and enjoy your Howl-o-ween season. Source: