10 Halloween Safety Tips
Attention, animal pet parents, it’s almost the scariest night of the year! Take extra safety measures this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying “trick or treat!” all year long.
- No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Buster and Tinkerbell. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause serious problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. You could have an extra bowl just with dog goodies if you wish, but it is best to keep them completely separate. You do not want anyone accidentally feeding the dog or cat the wrong treats.
- Wires and cords from electric lights and halloween decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. Remember back when you puppy proofed your home, well do that again every halloween as it is better to err on the safe side. If your pet chews a wire or cord, he might suffer cuts, burns, or god forbid receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock. BE CAREFUL!
- A carved pumpkin sure is festive. Exercise caution if you add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire, especially energetic dogs. Curious kittens and cats run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames when they look in to see what is in there.
- Dress-up can be HORRIBLE for some pets. Please, Please, PLEASE don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it. If a pet does not like wearing a costume it may cause unnecessary stress. I do not think the dog in the picture on the right loves his costume. 🙁
- If you decide to dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying, too tight or unsafe. You do not want the costume to constrict the movement or hearing of your pet, or impede his ability to breathe, drink, eat, bark or meow.
- Again, if you choose to have your pet wear a costume, try it on before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, itchy, scratchy or shows abnormal/strange behavior, PLEASE consider letting him go without it or just wear a festive bandana.
- Inspect your pet’s costume closely, making sure it does not have small, dangling, or bite size pieces that can be easily chewed-off and cause him to choke on. If you have ever worn a halloween costume you know that they can become uncomfortable, twisted, HOT, irritating, and could cause injury. Make sure your pet is comfortable. If you suspect he is not comfortable END the TORTURE and take the costume off of him. He will love you for it.
- If you are having company or will have many trick or treaters, keep your pets in another room. Even if they are social friendly furry family members. Keep dogs and cats away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours, as strangers dressed in weird costumes can be scary and stressful for pets. Let’s face it strangers in general can be scary for our pets, so why put them through all the anxiety if you do not have to
- When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside. If they are in another room, they will be safe.
- Just in case have your pets ID on him, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes, runs off out of fear and becomes lost, a collar, tags and a microchip can be save his life and increase the chances that he will be returned to you.
Have a SAFE and HEALTHY Halloween!
Pam’s Dog Academy
Pamela Johnson, CPDT-KA