Halloween is a lot of pet owner’s favorite holiday and with good reason. The costumes! Going trick-or-treating with your pet! The excitement and activity! It’s a lot of fun! Here are some tips to help make sure that you and your pet have the best and safest Halloween ever this year!
1. Costume Drama. The costumes are one of the best parts of Halloween and the sky’s the limit creatively. When you’re picking your costume make sure that it doesn’t restrict your pet’s movement or ability to breathe or “speak”. If Fluffy can’t meow, it’s too tight! Also please make sure that the leash and harness you use fit comfortably and securely with the costume on so that there are no accidental escapes. Your best bet is to try the costumes on ahead of the big day to make sure everything fits the way it’s supposed to.
2. No Tricks With Treats. You all know chocolate is a pet no-no but keep an eye out for xylitol too. That’s the sweet substitute that you find in most sugar-free gums and companies are starting to add it to things like peanut butter too. Check your labels and be safe when handing out those doggy and kitty treats! If you think Spot has gotten into something dangerous call your veterinarian right away.
3. The Horrors of Chewing. Wires are a big temptation for mouthy dogs and so are…glow sticks! If Fido eats a glow stick he’ll have a funny mouth AND a funny tummy, that stuff isn’t straight up poisonous but it’s no fun for pets! If he chews through a light or effects wire he could get a nasty shock! Finally keep your pumpkins and corn stalks away from your pets. They’re not toxic as foods but once they start to mold from being outside then they can make Princess feel sick.
4. Don’t answer the door! …until pets are safely shut in another room that is. Door darting and inadvertent escapes can turn a fun Halloween night into a stressful nightmare chase through the dark. And you just know your pet is going to decide to run into the scary chainsaw filled basement of the abandoned haunted house where those horrible murders occurred all those years ago. And then you’re going to have to go get her. If your pet is well trained and you feel comfortable having her greet trick or treaters then just please make sure that her ID tags are all on her and her microchip registration is up to date -just in case.
5. Fire Hazard. Halloween candles and spooky Jack-O-Lanterns can be dangerous for a curious kitty who may knock them over. Not just because of the fire risk either. Have you ever tried to get melted candle wax out of an animal’s fur after a spill? It’s painful for the animal, difficult for you and usually someone ends up shaved. It’s a real horror!
6. It’s a big scary world out there. Especially for a dog whose used to going out for normal walks on normal days and meeting normal people. All of a sudden he’s going out at night! There are giant inflatable lawn ornaments making spooky noises and flashing lights at him! The house down the street has a fog machine putting out funny smelling white mist! People he thinks he knows by smell don’t look right either, they have big capes on and masks that make them look different and is that blood and giant plastic teeth coming out of mom’s mouth?!? AHHHHHHH!!!
In short, sometimes Halloween can be scary for your pet and it’s important to recognize when they are part of the fun and when they are uncomfortable. Some pets are going to love Halloween and get right into it. They’re going to love the “strange” people, the new sounds, the pumpkins and the atmosphere. Some pets though will prefer to stay safe in a spare room until it’s all over. As long as you do the right thing for your pet and your family though, it’ll be a great time.