How to keep your pets safe and comfortable on Halloween
Spooky season is upon us! While Halloween always brings plenty of treats, some tricky pets can use the night of fun as an opportunity to dash out the front door. Make sure your pets are safe during this holiday by following a few of our tips!
Keep the treats for yourself
Do not give your pets any trick-or-treat candy. All forms of chocolate are dangerous and can be lethal to dogs and cats. Sugar-free candy and other treats can contain a sweetener called xylitol, which can also be very harmful to pets if ingested. If you suspect your pet has eaten candy, or anything toxic, call your veterinarian immediately or call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
Having trick-or-treaters at your home naturally brings continued doorbell ringing and opening and closing of doors. A lot of dogs and cats can get startled or riled up by the doorbell, as well as repeated new guests at the door. If your pet is easily affected by these sounds or interruptions to their routine, it may be best to keep them in a separate room or tucked away safely in their crates.
Keep a very close eye on pets that you leave out that could have access to the front door. Even pets that don’t typically dart out the door at the first opportunity can attempt to escape when faced with new stressors of the evening!
In case your pet gets out
We advise that all pets always wear collars and ID tags, as well as be microchipped. If your pet should get spooked and run away, proper identification means that they are much more likely to get reunited with you quickly. If your pet is microchipped (if adopted from Operation Kindness – they are!), check with the microchip company and make sure your contact information is up to date.
Making sure your pets are comfortable in their costumes
Dressing up for Halloween doesn’t just have to be for humans! A lot of cats and dogs enjoy joining in on the festivities and showing off a fun costume! On the flip side, however, many pets can find costumes restrictive, uncomfortable and even startling. If your pet is showing signs of stress while in their costume, such as excessive panting, sweaty paws, or simply not moving freely – it’s probably best to forego the costume.
If you do dress your pet up, make sure there aren’t any elements of the costume that could cause scratchiness or discomfort, constrict your pet’s movement or breathing or obscure their vision.
A good alternative to a costume could be putting a Halloween-themed banana or festive collar on your pet!
Halloween home décor
Don’t forget to consider your pet’s safety when decorating for the season! Secure any decorations that could come apart and pose choking hazards for your dogs or cats. Candles can help set a spooky mood, but make sure to keep them out of reach of your pets so they don’t burn themselves or knock the candles over!