Most of us love celebrating Halloween, but it can be a rather stressful time for our furry family members. Here are 9 things you can do to give your pets a safe and stress-free Halloween this season.
1. Keep your pet away from the candy
First, Halloween candy is not for pets! All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. According to Pet MD, even small amounts of xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. It can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. If you really would like to give your pets treats on Halloween, try Simply Country Naturals Ham Jerky for Dogs. They’re slow baked for full flavor and made with 100% all-natural ingredients right here in the USA, so you can be confident that your dog is snacking safely.
2. Don’t leave pets outdoors on Halloween.
Unfortunately, pranksters have been known to harass, injure, and even kill pets on Halloween. Keeping your pets indoors will prevent this kind of thing from happening to your dog or cat. Black cats are especially at risk for pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. Be sure your black cat is safely indoors around Halloween!
3. Keep your pets confined and away from the door
Indoors is certainly better than outdoors on Halloween, but your door will be constantly opening and closing and strangers will be on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. This, of course, can be scary for our furry friends, which can result in escape attempts or unexpected aggression. Putting your dog or cat in a secure crate or room away from the front door will reduce stress and prevent them from darting outside into the night… on a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one. Another great way to prevent Halloween stress in your dogs is by giving them TevraPet® Triple Action Functional Soft Chews or Vetality® Calming Sniffer Chews. These calming chews feature a proprietary pheromone, AlphaQ™, on the outside so with just a sniff of the chew they will provide fast-acting results. These chews also contain a proprietary calming blend on the inside for long-lasting benefits.
3. Keep glow sticks away from pets
While glow sticks can help keep people safe on Halloween night, they can add some unwanted drama to the holiday if a pet chews one open. Thankfully, the liquid inside glow sticks is non-toxic, so it won’t make pets sick, but it does taste awful. Pets who get into a glow stick may drool, paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. If your pet does chew on a glow stick, offer some fresh water or a small meal to help clear the material out of their mouth.
4. Keep fall plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach
While small amounts of corn and pumpkin can be fed safely to many pets, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy Halloween pumpkins or corn displays can cause big problems. Gastrointestinal upset is a possibility whenever pets eat something they aren’t used to, and intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed. Some types of mold produce toxins that can cause neurological problems in dogs and cats. So, keep the pumpkins and corn stalks away from your pets. And speaking of pumpkins…
5. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets
If you are using candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween decorations, make sure to place them well out of reach of your pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire.
6. Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach
Electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations are certainly safer than open candles, but they still can present a risk to pets. Pets who chew on electrical cords can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock or burn. Batteries may cause chemical burns when chewed open or gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed. Shards of glass or plastic can cause lacerations anywhere on the body or, if swallowed, within the gastrointestinal tract.
7. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll like it.
If you decide that your dog or cat needs a costume, there are a few things to keep in mind. Costumes should not restrict eyesight, hearing, or the ability to breathe. Pets wearing costumes should always be supervised by a responsible adult. This way, any problems can be addressed right away.
8. Try on your pet’s costume before any Halloween festivities.
If you decide to dress Fido up for Halloween, be sure to introduce his costume a few days beforehand. When introducing pet to new things, it’s best to go slowly and give lots of treats and praise. If your pet seems distressed or develops skin problems from contact with the costume, try having him wear a festive bandana for a nice compromise.
9. Make sure your pet’s collar is up to date.
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that he or she will be returned. Collars and tags are ideal if a Good Samaritan is able to collect your wayward pet, but microchips offer permanent identification should the collar or tag fall off. Just make sure the information is up-to-date. Use Halloween as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports pet microchips.
Hopefully, these tips will help all our readers have a safe and happy Halloween!