Halloween can be a fun time for kids and adults alike, but pets can have quite a different experience. Keep your dog or cat safe and calm with these 6 Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs and Cats.
1. Keep Candy Out of Reach
Candy and chocolate are everywhere around Halloween. But what makes a tasty treat for us can be deadly for pets. Make sure candy bowls are out of reach of pets.
Never leave your pet unattended with an open candy bowl - even if it's in a high place. Keep candy in a closed container if you are not in the room.
Pay special attention to sugarless candy sweetened with xylitol, as this sweetener is toxic to pets. Chocolate also contains theobromine, which is harmful to dogs and cats.
Discard of candy and wrappers in a garbage with a tight-fitting lid or one that's safe in a cabinet or behind a closed door. Pets can sniff out candies and wrappers - especially dogs who have sweet-tooths just like us.
When the trick-or-treaters are gone, do a once over of your yard. Remove candy wrappers and any discarded candies before letting your dog or cat out again.
2. Watch Out for Decorations
Halloween decorations keep things festive, but can be a threat to exploring dogs and cats. Decorations with electrical cords should be secured and away from curious pets.
Never leave your pet alone with fire, even contained in a candle or a jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Dogs and cats can easily knock over a carved pumpkin or candle, creating a fire hazard.
Keep Jack-O-Lanterns unlit or opt for artificial or battery-powered lights instead of the classic candle or tealight. Enjoy candles only when you are there to watch your pet.
3. Never Leave Pet in a Costume
Pet costumes can be adorable and hilarious. But refrain from keeping your dog or cat in a costume that may be uncomfortable or tight.
Make sure your pet's costume does not contain small pieces that can easily be torn off and ingested.
Pay attention to your pet's cues. If your pet is displaying anxious behaviour or seems scared or agitated in its costume, by all means remove it. Try a different costume or choose a lighter option such as a festive headband or scarf.
Even a comfortable pet costume can become hazardous when your pet is left alone in it. When left unattended on a pet, your dog or cat's costume can become a choking hazard or even cause strangulation.
4. Keep Your Dog or Cat Indoors
Halloween can be a scary time for pets. To keep your pet safe from undue stress and anxiety, as well as people who may want to harm your pet or play a prank, keep your pets indoors on Halloween during the day and night.
You may even wish to extend this to a few days before and after Halloween.
5. Make Sure Your Pet is Secured
For most pets, Halloween is a very stressful holiday. The endless stream of costumes, strangers at the door, and activity of the night can make even the calmest pets anxious.
Keep your pet in a safe, secure, and comfortable place for the evening. A kennel, room, or secure playyard can be the best for your pet's safety and comfort.
Since there are so many strange customs that come with Halloween, even the most social and well-behaved pet can be unpredictable. Be safe and keep your pet contained.
Even contained pets can accidentally get out with all the commotion and door opening. Make sure your pet has up-to-date ID tags in case he or she gets out.
While it may seem like a good way to get in an extra walk, you should not bring your pet trick-or-treating. Your pet will most likely feel safer at home than in the streets with all the strangers in costumes around. If you insist on bringing your dog, make sure she is in a fitted harness and short leash.
6. Keep Anxiety Under Control
Almost all pets are stressed to some degree at Halloween. To help your pet feel his best despite the uncomfortable situation, try to keep stress levels down.
Give your pet a special treat just for Halloween evening. If you have a dog, try to make the treat something that will last more than a couple of minutes, such as an elk antler chew.
If your pet regularly deals with anxiety or stress, you may want to use a natural pet anxiety relief product. These gentle remedies use herbal calmers instead of medical sedatives to steady your pet's nerves.
If you are able, give your pet lots of attention before the evening trick-or-treaters arrive. Check up on your pet throughout the night, but keep yourself calm. Your pet will take cues from your mood.