Many of us enjoy the fun of Halloween, but our pets can truly be frightened by all the noises and costumes. Halloween is unfortunately a holiday with many dangers for our dogs and cats.
The joy of Halloween for us is dressing up in fun and unique costumes, but it may not be fun for our pets. If you pet tolerates a costume, keep in mind your pet must be comfortable at all times. You want to avoid any costumes that use rubber bands or anything that might constrict circulation or breathing. You also want to avoid costumes with toxic paints, dyes or that are edible.
The costumes that we dress up in can be equally scary to our pets. Masks, large hats, and other costume accessories can confuse our pets and can even trigger territorial instincts. It is not normal for pets to act protective and fearful of people in costumes, especially if they are normally very social with that person. Remember, you as a pet owner are responsible for controlling your pet and insuring that they don’t bite any guests arriving at your door for their “Trick or Treat”
Constant visitors to the door along with the spooky sights and sounds may cause pets to escape and become injured in a variety of different ways. For cats; they may try to bolt out the door and even if they are allowed outside, they are more at risk for being hit by a car due to higher traffic from the trick or treaters. Black cats, especially, are at a higher risk from human cruelty on Halloween. The best thing to do for your cats on Halloween is to keep them in an interior room where they are unable to bolt out the door. For dogs; the best thing to do is let them spend Halloween inside with special treats, safe and secure. Even in a fenced yard, Halloween is not a good night for a dog to be outside.Not all Halloween decorations can be safe for your pets. Fake cobwebs or anything resembling string can be tempting to cats, leading to an intestinal obstruction. Candles, even inside pumpkins, can be easily knocked over, burning your pet or even lighting them or your house on fire!
Most important…Keep your pets away from ALL Halloween Candy. It is already known that chocolate can be toxic to pets, even in small amounts. However, lollipop sticks and foil wrappers can cause blockages in the intestinal tract. Candy sweetened with xylitol can cause a life threatening drop in blood sugar if ingested by a pet. Some pets can get an upset stomach just from eating a piece of candy, since it isn’t part of their regular diet.
These simple responsible precautions will help us and our pets have a safe holiday…Happy Halloween!