Halloween is a delightfully spooky time of year. But, you may enjoy taking part in all the frightening festivities, while your furry pal is stressed, anxious, or afraid. Help your pet enjoy all the holiday has to offer with The Gentle Vet team’s Halloween pet safety tips.
#1: Choose a simple pet costume
Your pet may feel perfectly comfortable wearing clothes, but you should still choose a simple costume with no dangling pieces that your pet can easily chew and ingest. Ensure your pet has no problems moving, breathing, and seeing, and monitor them for slippage, chafing, and comfort.
Truly, your pet is always adorable, and they don’t need a constrictive costume to boost their cuteness. So, while you may be tempted to outfit them in all manner of silly, fierce, spooky, or cute costumes, consider leaving them au naturel in their beautiful fur coat. You can add some flair with a pumpkin- or ghost-themed collar, or a Halloween bandana tied to their collar.
#2: Stash candy out of paws’ reach
The most delicious, yet dangerous, aspect of Halloween for your pet is the bowls and bags of candy. Chocolate, sugar-free sweets, trail mix, and the wrappers themselves pose serious health risks for cats and dogs. Prevent toxicity, choking, and gastrointestinal (GI) obstructions by ensuring candy is kept out of your pet’s reach.
#3: Keep your pet out of the trash can
The trash can holds all manner of hazardous items around Halloween. From the wrappers from your candy binge, to leftover thread from costume repairs, ensure your pet cannot root around in the trash by securely latching the lids.
#4: Give your pet a time-out from trick-or-treaters
The hectic trick-or-treating hours can unsettle your pet. Masked strangers approaching their territory, the doorbell constantly chiming, and the door constantly opening and revealing new sights, smells, and sounds can put your pet on edge.
Give your pet the perfect time-out from the Halloween chaos in their own relaxation room, complete with a bed that invites curling up, a cozy blanket for snuggling, and a long-lasting treat or chew.
#5: Block pet escape routes
Your pet’s “time-out” serves two purposes—relaxation and escape prevention. As you focus your attention on the costumed children at the open door, your four-legged friend can easily dart through the door. If you are not confining your pet in their relaxation room, prevent their escape with a baby gate, or by keeping them leashed at your side.
#6: Light up your yard for pets
A lot of mischief can happen in dark areas, so light up your yard before taking your pet outside. Take a flashlight on your last walk before bedtime to help highlight dangerous decorations, candy, and other hazardous items tossed over your fence, and to check that your gate is securely latched.
#7: Schedule a microchipping appointment for your pet
Halloween is one of the busiest times of year for animal control officers and animal shelters, because so many pets are lost and need housing until they’re reunited with their owners. Pets who are microchipped are much more likely to find their family again. If your pet is not microchipped, set up a quick appointment to ensure they have permanent identification.
#8: Ditch decor dangerous for pets
Eerie decorations are one of Halloween’s highlights, but they can severely harm your pet when exposed. Ensure you keep the following potential decor hazards out of paws’ reach:
- Candlelit jack-o’-lanterns
- Corn stalks
- Fog machines
- Power cords
- Glow sticks and jewelry
- Fake spiderwebs
#9: Watch for your pet’s noise aversion signs
Halloween’s piercing shrieks, shrill screams, and evil cackling can make your pet’s fur stand on end, so monitor your pet carefully for noise aversion signs, which include:
- Heavy panting
- Pacing and restlessness
- Clingy behavior
- Excessive vocalization
- Inappropriate elimination
- Attempting to escape
#10: Keep pet emergency contacts on hand
Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen and your pet may need urgent care. Keep the numbers of the nearest emergency veterinary hospital, our hospital, and an animal poison control hotline on hand.
With our pet-safety tips, Halloween doesn’t have to be the scariest time of year for your pet, because careful planning and preparation can keep them out of mischief and out of danger. However, should your pet find themselves on the wrong side of a trick or treat, give The Gentle Vet team a call for help.