Halloween can be a festive and fun time for adults and kids alike. But for pets? Let’s face it, Halloween can be a nightmare for our furry friends. Although some pets are Halloween pros, it’s still wise to be cautious about how, when, and where you expose them to the festivities.

For pets, there are several emergencies that can escalate on and around the holiday. You can skip the stress and keep your pets healthy and safe this Halloween with our Halloween pet safety tips, here. 

Be Aware, Be Prepared

Here’s how awareness and a little preparation can go a long way toward protecting your pet from the dangers of Halloween.

Treats. Chocolate and a sugar substitute called xylitol are both extremely toxic to pets. Chocolate, especially dark and baking chocolate, causes diarrhea, vomiting, muscle tremors, and seizures. Xylitol, found in sugar free candy and gum causes acute liver failure and potentially death. Candy wrappers can cause a painful intestinal blockage. Keep all candy bowls, bags, and party treats far away from pets. 

Decorations. The spooky witch and light up spider are really cool. But they can scare your pets, and the power cords can cause entanglement or electrocution. Even decorations as benign as corn cobs can cause big problems if ingested. Keep all decorations out of pets’ reach.

Jack-o-lanterns. It wouldn’t be Halloween without a jack-o-lantern or two. But carved pumpkins can cause burned whiskers or fur and be knocked over by curious pets – a fire hazard. And while a little bit of pumpkin can be good for pets, ingesting too much can definitely cause a major belly ache.

Pet costumes. If your pet is used to dressing up and enjoys this part of the holiday, by all means, include them. Just be sure to avoid masks and dangling pieces and parts, and never force your pet to remain in costume. Costumes should never restrict vision or movement, and always watch your pet’s breathing and temperature. Offer fresh drinking water often and monitor your pet constantly while they are in costume. 

Halloween Pet Safety

One other safety consideration on Halloween is of your pet becoming lost. This is all too easy, what with the noise and general commotion as well as the constant door opening. Make sure your pet has a microchip and her collar and ID tags on before the main event. 

We advise keeping your pets indoors prior to dusk and throughout the night. Cats, especially black cats, can become the targets of senseless holiday pranks. And all pets are at risk for becoming disoriented and lost. 

Some dogs are Halloween lovers and want to be included on the neighborhood circuit. If you’ll be taking your dog on the Halloween trick-or-treat route, make sure she is well equipped with a reflective collar and leash. This will make her much more visible to drivers in the autumn dusk. 

A New Idea

If you have a new pet or your pet is anxious with new things, do yourself and her a favor and let her skip Halloween altogether. Create a safe, secure spot for her (a laundry room or small bedroom can work well) away from the hubbub. Include her pet bed, toys, treats, water bowl and litter box, and add a white noise machine or soft music. Your pet will be away from the dangers of Halloween, and you’ll relax knowing your pet is safe. 

Better yet, ditch the doorbell altogether and set up a table outside in your front yard or porch. This way you can greet trick-or-treaters without setting off your pet every time the doorbell rings. 

From your friends at Sunrise Boulevard Animal Hospital, we hope you have a happy and safe Howl-O-Ween! Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about Halloween pet safety.