Should You be Concerned About Halloween Pet Safety?
Families collect bags of candy in August, costumes are finalized in September, and scary decorations go up October 1st. While you may be 100% ready for the zany, thrilling, and hilarious event that is Halloween, your pet might be anything but prepared. How can you prime your pet for the endless risks, threats, and frights? Having a good handle on Halloween pet safety is the right place to start. From there, you’ll know how to make it through to November without illness, injury, or incident.
Know the Score
Many pets are well-equipped with socialization skills to weather the Halloween storm. If your pet isn’t accustomed to strangers, loud noises, or the unpredictable nature of the holiday, keep them at home. Provide them with a softly lit back room with soft music and other creature comforts.
Should your pet know how to deal with Halloween, please don’t assume that they’re safe. Update microchip contact information (if applicable), ensure tags can be easily read, gear up in reflective or light-up accessories, and know the signs of stress and anxiety.
Halloween is about stockpiling as many fun-size candies as possible, right? Your pet likely agrees. Chocolate, a major threat to your pet’s health, must be strictly off-paws. Likewise, candies made with the artificial sweetener Xylitol and those with raisins are big no-no’s.
Pets often consume cellophane or foil wrappers on the way to the payday, which can get stuck in your pet’s GI tract. The bottom line is that all candy should be stored securely, always off the floors, and put away at night and when you leave the house.
Halloween Pet Safety
When decorating the house, please consider Halloween pet safety. Pets can become scared of spooky decor, but real threats like decorative corn, beads, lights, etc., are also a big concern for choking and GI blockages. Low lying light strings can present entanglement and even electric shock risks.
Jack-o’-lanterns can be lit with LED tea lights or flameless votives to reduce singed whiskers, burns, or accidental house fires.
Play Dress Up
Pet costumes can be successfully worn, but to adhere to Halloween pet safety tactics, the following should be considered beforehand:
- The costume should feel comfortable to your pet. Fabric should not be scratchy or too hot.
- The fit must be snug. Too loose, and a determined pet can wriggle out of it, potentially restricting airways and causing accidents. Too tight, and the costume can cause choking, discomfort, and injury.
- Your pet should be able to see, breathe, eat, communicate, go to the bathroom, and move around freely.
- Are the costume materials safe and non-toxic for your pet?
Lastly, it’s a good idea to keep your pet inside starting a couple nights before Halloween. Animals, especially black cats, can become targets of cruel pranks. Never leave your dog unattended in the backyard.