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Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe On Halloween



October 28, 2022

Photo by Sam Lion

Photo by Sam Lion

As Halloween is quickly approaching us followed by many other fun holidays we must be prepared to keep our pets safe from the dangers of the holiday season. Halloween is a fun festive holiday for us humans but it can be a bit more spooky for our pets. Between the delicious candy to the exciting costumes and the parade of strangers coming to your door for trick or treating, Halloween can frighten your furry friends in more ways than one. Although we are all fortunate enough to enjoy candy until it makes us sick and be okay the next day, our pets are a little different. Unfortunately, many candies can be extremely toxic and many life-threatening to our pets. The Pet Poison Helpline gets 12% more calls on Halloween night than any other night of the year. Most of those calls coming in are for chocolate poisoning, which is the most well-known toxic food for cats and dogs. Despite knowing how harmful chocolate and other candies are to our pups, your dog or cat may still reach over the counter or dig through the trash for tasty treats. Going from door to door asking for candy is a memory that we all love and cherish, and we want to keep it that way. Halloween is the second most common holiday for pets to go missing with the 4th of July being the first. To keep our Halloween memories happy, we must keep our pets safe from the dangers of that exhilarating night. Here are five tips to keep your pet safe on Halloween night:

  1. Make sure that your pets have an ID tag or are microchipped in case they slip through the doorway when greeting trick-or-treaters.
    - To prevent your pup or cat from getting out, it is a good idea to keep them in a safe room during the night. To reduce noise distractions for your pets, sit outside with your candy & treats to greet your trick-or-treaters.
  2. Keep all lit candles, jack-o-lanterns, and Halloween decorations out of reach of your pets. 
    - Keep glow sticks away from your cats. It is common for cats to chew on and puncture these products. Although glow sticks are not life-threatening to your pets they can still cause pain, irritation, and excessive salivation.
  3. Keep candy stashed far away from your pets. Educate your children on why it is important to not feed your pets any of their Halloween candy. Keep the Pet Poison Hotline number available to you at all times in case of emergency 888-426-4435.
    - Symptoms to watch out for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures.
    - Chocolate, raisins, sugar-free candy, candy corn, and macadamia nuts are some of the most toxic candies for pets.
    - Candy wrappers are also just as dangerous for your pets. Watch for vomiting, decreased appetite, not defecating, straining to defecate, or lethargy.
  4. Be cautious with pet Halloween costumes. We know how cute those costumes can be on our furry friends, but consider your pet's personality and tolerance level. If you decide to dress your pet up, keep an eye on them to make sure the costume is comfortable and allows your pet to move freely.
    - Signs of your pet being uncomfortable include folded-down ears, eyes rolling back or looking sideways, a tucked tail, or hunching over.
  5. If you are planning on having people over for a Halloween party it is best to keep your pets in a safe room away from the party. Costumes and masks can change how a person looks and smells to a pet which may be frightening to them. It is also recommended to leave your dog at home when you go trick-or-treating. The Halloween commotion can easily spook your dog causing them to behave out of character.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. By using these tips above you can ensure that your family can experience a fun and safe Halloween.