SAN DIEGO, October 31, 2017– Halloween can be an exciting, and scary event for our precious pets.
While we are busy with Halloween celebrations throughout this spooky night, what can be overlooked are “the things that make Halloween a treat for people, noises, smells, trick-or-treaters at the door and people in costumes, can overwhelm many pets,” laments KC Theisen, of The Humane Society of the U.S.
Most pets, especially dogs, are creatures of habit. When there are sudden changes, noises or new stressors in the environment, it can create anxiety and agitation
Keep your pets safe this Halloween
It is critically important that pets are kept away from the Halloween revelry. Let them curl up in the bedroom, with the door shut, light low and a soft radio or television program to listen to.
If they are crate trained, place their crate away from the door; find them a secure place away from the Halloween bell ringers and children yelling “Trick of Treat”.
Remember, pets react to the emotions of the people in the room. If you and the children are excited, so will be Fluffy. Ensure that pet identification tags are on their collar in case they bolt through the front door opened to trick-or-treaters.
You also need to protect your dog or cat from biting or scratching a trick or treater. For trick-or-treaters who enjoy the company of their pet on Halloween, keeping them safely on leash at all times is a priority.
Having an adult holding the leash while staying away from the crush at the door is always a good idea.
Tips for safe Halloween costumes for pets
Approximately 50% of pet owners enjoy dressing their pets up for Halloween. Acceptable pet costumes include non-toxic pet-safe materials; and, just like costumes for your human children, conducive to safe vision and natural breathing.
One of your first tests whether to costume your pet, is whether he or she will tolerate it. If they are fighting you, or under stress with that headband and feathers, stop. You may find it amusing, but they don’t.
Pet scarves with a Halloween theme are far safer than costumes; just ensure they do not create a choking or hanging hazard.
The truth about pets and candy
Halloween is also one of the highest selling holidays for the purchase of candy. All that sweet nougat and chocolate smells, and tastes, good to your pets.
Candy and other foods are highly toxic to pets, especially to dogs, and eating candy with its high salts and sugars can create illness, kidney failure, internal blockages and even death. Or just make them very sick to their stomach leading to a bad night for everyone.
In addition to common household items which make dogs particularly ill, such as xylitol and sugar-free mints and gums, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, fabric sheets, grapes, raisins and more, the following are common Halloween candy treats and other edibles which are highly toxic and therefore dangerous to dogs especially and other pets:
- Chocolate candy, including baked goods and other foods
- Chocolate or other coated raisins
- Wrapped and unwrapped candies
- Candy wrappers that contain foils or cellophane
- Gums and mints
Do not hesitate to call your pets’ vet
Unlike people, pets cannot inform their human what they have eaten nor how they feel. In the event of any symptoms, from lethargy to diarrhea and vomiting, especially when Halloween treats may be the culprit, contact the family veterinarian immediately!
Pets have clever ways of finding what would be most fun to chew or tasty to eat. An often overlook Halloween hazard is decorations, both indoor and outdoor. Ensure all ornaments and decorations are out of reach of your pet.
One item to keep a look out for are plastic glow sticks that the little ghosties may drop in your yard. They are highly toxic to your pet.
Think like your pet by walking in his or her paws. Be vigilant decorating, creating Halloween activities and events, handing out candy and as “scary” trick-or-treaters are pounding a path to your door, keep your pet safe.
Protecting beloved pets from their natural behavior and curiosity will go a long way toward ensuring Halloween fun and revelry which is safe and Emergency-free for the entire family.
Until next time, enjoy the broomstick ride, in good health!
Lead Image: Looking characteristically worried, Chopper the Pug celebrates his Mexican heritage | Image by Susan Jaster Theobold