Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Masked superhero dog on a skateboardHalloween is an exciting time for many families; the painstaking selection of costumes, decorating the house and yard, and getting ready for an evening filled with trick or treating, candy, and festivities. Sociable pets may also want to get in on the action and enjoy showing off an adorable pet costume or greeting the endless parade of tiny superheroes and princesses that ring the doorbell Halloween night. But for many pets, Halloween can be a truly frightening time.

Whether you are planning on taking your pet out with you to enjoy the Halloween excitement or staying home to pass out candy, the following information about halloween pet safety will be sure to keep things spooky – but safe.

No Tricks Or Treats

Every year around Halloween, pet poison control hotlines experience a spike in calls. The delicious smells wafting out of bowls of treats near the door or from the candy tumbling out of your kids’ Halloween buckets are hard for pets to resist, but chocolate and the sugar substitute Xylitol pose serious health threats to your dog. Take extra precautions to keep all candies, baked goods and other people food away from your pet. Give us a call right away if you suspect that your pet has ingested something poisonous.

A festive yard or spooky entryway is all part of the fun of Halloween, just remember to keep pets in mind when decorating your home this year. Pumpkin, decorative corn and glow sticks should be kept away from pets as they can cause intestinal distress if ingested. Pets can become entangled in or, even worse, chew on wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations, so make sure they are out of reach.

Halloween Night Safety

The incessant stream of strangers in costumes ringing your doorbell all evening can rattle even the most stoic of pets. Keep the following tips in mind for your pet’s safety and peace of mind:

  • Keep pets in a room as far away from the front door as possible. Stock the space with water, favorite toys, and maybe a few treats and make use of the TV or soft music to help drown out the noise.
  • Even if you plan on keeping your pet far from the action on Halloween night, accidents happen and a dog or cat can easily slip out the front door as you’re admiring the latest round of ghosts and goblins. Make sure your pet is wearing his or her collar with ID tags and have your pet’s microchip updated if you haven’t already.
  • If you are planning on dressing your pet in a costume, make sure it is a comfortable fit. Avoid tying anything around your pet’s neck that could cause choking or strangling, and make sure the costume doesn’t have any small parts or pieces that could be easily chewed off and swallowed. Above all else, if your pet seems uncomfortable or stressed by a costume, remove it for his or her own safety.
  • If you plan on bringing your pet along for trick-or-treating, consider outfitting him or her with a reflective vest or collar, and follow all safety precautions.
  • Unfortunately, dogs and cats can sometimes be the victims of Halloween pranks. We recommend keeping your pets indoors on Halloween and in the days leading up to the holiday.

Happy Howl-oween, from your friends at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates!