Halloween is a fun day for families, but it can be a stressful or even dangerous day for pets. In order to make it an enjoyable and safe experience for pets, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Choose pet costumes wisely
If your pet enjoys being dressed up, be sure the costume isn't constricting, unsafe or annoying. This can add stress to your pet. Be wary of costumes that use rubber bands to keep them in place because your pet could chew them off and swallow them, potentially creating a choking hazard or causing an intestinal injury. The bands can also become embedded into your pet's flesh, causing pain or discomfort. Make sure the costume doesn’t obstruct your pet's vision. Even the gentlest pets can get snappy when they can't see what's going on.
Read more Halloween costume safety tips
Keep pets away from the front door
Keep your pet in a separate room during trick-or-treat hours. The continuous opening/closing of the door, ringing of doorbells, and general noise associated with groups of people approaching the house can be stressful or confusing to pets. Dogs may feel the need to protect their home and humans, and may bite your bizarre-looking visitors. Your pet may also become frightened and dart through the open door.
Keep your pet inside
There are plenty of stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen or even killed pets that were left in their yards or allowed to roam outside on Halloween.
Be careful with candles and lit pumpkins
Pets are attracted to bright lights in a darkened room. Candles can be knocked over easily, spilling hot wax on furniture and carpet and potentially causing a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting badly burned.
Do not leave your pet in the car while the kids go trick-or-treating
Pets may find it very frightening to sit in a dark car while scary creatures of every size and shape walk by. Furthermore, your normally friendly pet can become aggressive and protective and lash out at a friendly ghost or witch. For the safety of your pets, leave them at home, inside where they are safe.
Do not give your pet candy
Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that can be poisonous to your pet. Dark, semi-sweet or baker's chocolate can be lethal if ingested. Sticks on caramel apples can be swallowed and cause choking or damage to internal organs. Candy can upset the stomach, resulting in diarrhea or vomiting. Packaging can cause choking or intestinal blockage. Foil wrappers can become as dangerous as razors when swallowed. In short, be sure to keep all of these tempting treats away from your pets.