Prepare Your Pets for Halloween

Image of pets dressed up for Halloween.

Halloween is right around the corner!

Whether you are planning on participating in the spookiest night of the year —Halloween — it is likely that people in your neighborhood are. This means that the streets will be filled with loud noises, new faces and all manner of things that can stress out your four-legged friends.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Thankfully, you can prepare yourself — and your pets — for the big night with the following simple safety tips.

Hide the Candy

When ingested, candy, sugar and chocolate, in all forms, can be dangerous for your pets. Nowadays, most candy also contains artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, that your pets are unable to digest properly.

That’s why it is important to keep your Halloween candy away from your pets and avoid storing it anywhere your pets could easily or accidentally find (and eat) it.

Candies wrapped with plastic or lollipops can also be a severe choking hazard for pets, large or small. Swallowing candy wrappers or similar foreign bodies can cause an obstruction in your pet’s digestive system that is both expensive and painful to remove.

If you believe your pet has eaten candy or chocolate, contact us or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.

Protect Your Pets From Pumpkins

For most household pets, pumpkins are considered nontoxic, but they can upset your pet’s stomach if they decide to nibble on them. If possible, position your pumpkins completely out of your pets’ reach instead of on the ground where they can get to them.

In fact, it is best to keep all Halloween decorations out of your pets’ reach. Decorations with wires or other small parts and jack-o-lanterns that involve the use of small candles should not be accessible by pets. Easy access can encourage pets to chew or play with loose wires and makes it easy for them to knock over lit pumpkins or candles and injure themselves, or even start a fire.

Minimize Socializing

For even the most social pets, the constant influx of new people on Halloween can be overwhelming. In most cases, it is recommended to keep your pets separate from visiting trick-or-treaters. For some pets, the stream of strangers in scary costumes can cause anxiety. Some animals, especially dogs, react by becoming defensive of their home and owner and might bark or growl at visiting trick-or-treaters.

Be Cautious of Costumes

If you choose to put a costume of any kind on your pet, make sure it will not be bothersome or unsafe. Costumes should not constrict or minimize your animal’s movement, hearing, sight or their ability to breathe, bark or meow in any way. If your pet seems distressed, allergic to the costume’s material or simply unhappy being dressed in a costume, consider letting them experience the night without one.

In addition, if you do choose to put your pet in a costume, it is recommended that you don’t leave them alone in it. Parts of the costume can come apart, and your pet might accidentally ingest them or get tangled in them, which can be life threatening for your pet.

Update Identification

On a night like Halloween, tension and excitement is at an all-time high. When opening the door to visiting trick-or-treaters, take care that your pet does not make a run for the door and dart outside. If, for any reason, your pet does escape and become lost, it will help if your pet has proper, and updated, personal information. Make sure you have armed your pet with a collar, tags and/or a microchip to improve the chances he or she will return home safely.

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