Boo! Pet Safety Tips for Halloween That Prevent Real Scares

Boxer dog wearing wig and sunglassesWhether or not you’re mentally prepared for the changing seasons, Halloween is upon us – and it’s likely that this fact has probably not missed by your intuitive, observant pet. There’s a great deal to get excited about, but the best results can only be achieved with a diligent approach to Halloween pet safety. Prevent a full-fledged pet emergency this fall with Ten West Bird and Animal Hospital’s special guide.

Not For Everyone

Halloween may just be another holiday on your calendar, or perhaps it takes over your entire household. Whatever the case may be, your pet deserves your full attention on October 31st. Here are the top pet safety tips for Halloween:

  • Treats – A great rule of thumb is to keep all candy out of your pet’s reach. Chocolate candies have high levels of theobromine, a toxic chemical for dogs, and certain amounts of caffeine. Similarly, goodies sweetened with the sugar substitute Xylitol have the potential to poison your pet.
  • Wrappers – While you may be consistent with the treat sacks or candy bowls stashed out of reach, it’s easy to forget that candy wrappers tossed in an open trash container can be tempting. If eaten, cellophane, foil, plastic, or paper candy wrappers can result in gastrointestinal obstructions. If your pet is going trick or treating with you, watch out for discarded wrappers along the way.
  • Costumes – Pet costumes are all the rage these days, but many pets find them uncomfortable and stressful. Your pet should continue to have full range of movement, normal respiration, and full visibility when dressed up. Watch for any signs of agitation, dehydration, or overheating, and give your pet a break, if needed.
  • Decor – Electric lights and power cords can lead to shock, entanglement, or even choking when chewed on or played with.
  • Pumpkins – Lit-up carved pumpkins are a staple of Halloween, but really have no place inside a home shared with pets. Place jack o’lanterns on your front porch to avoid singed whiskers, noses, paws, and prevent a house fire. Doing this will also inhibit the consumption of indigestion-causing raw pumpkin.
  • Identification – Perhaps the key to Halloween pet safety is to keep your pet indoors a couple of days before (and after) the big night. Black cats are especially vulnerable to Halloween pranksters, but all pets with darker fur are unsafe at night. If your pet is heading out with you, place reflective tape on his or her collar or costume. Make sure ID tags are easily seen, and update microchip information, if applicable.

Halloween Pet Safety Affects Us All

To keep an anxious or stressed pet calm on Halloween, encourage him or her to stay in a quiet room away from the constantly ringing doorbell. This will prevent further upset, and eliminate the opportunity to bolt out the open front door.

Fill the space with comforting pillows, blankets, and water. You could also leave on some music or the television to drown out some of the noise. If this doesn’t work, you might decide to opt out. Turn off your exterior lights, and enjoy a quiet evening with your special pet.

Our doctors and staff are always happy to assist you with any questions or concerns. Halloween pet safety is a huge priority for us this time of year, and we hope you’ll let us know how we can help.

Happy Halloween!