Halloween is such a fun time of year for humans and animals alike. While it’s fun to dress your four-legged friends up for the occasion, there are several concerns about safety when it comes to pets. The Pet Poison hotline says they receive a 12 percent increase in calls during Halloween. Read on to learn how to protect your pets!
Safe Storage / Unsafe Foods
Pet owners should store all candy in a safe place, well out of a dog’s reach, as well as securely covered for any cats in the home. If you have children of trick-or-treating age, be sure they know the rules about keeping candy off the floor and away from pets. Pets don’t always know the difference between candy and its wrapper. Wrappers can become bowel obstructions, sometimes requiring surgery, not to mention the unpleasant side effects of vomiting and diarrhea from eating foreign foods.
Most people know that chocolate is not great for dogs. As little as one ounce could sicken a 50-lb dog. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are more dangerous than milk or white chocolate, and chocolate-covered raisins contain ingredients that are poisonous to both dogs and cats. Macadamia nuts are another potentially deadly food for pets.
Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that is present in some mints, gum, and candy that is toxic to pets. Keeping pets away from sugar-free treats in general is a good idea, as even small amounts of xylitol can be problematic, and it’s present in many foods that are touted as “sugar free.”
Many pet owners love to dress their pets up for Halloween, and we absolutely love seeing pets in their costumes! Ensure that costumes do not have any small parts a dog could chew, swallow, or choke on, and only leave a costume on a pet while they’re under supervision. Puppies in costume are particularly notorious for chewing costumes to shreds, so keep a very close eye on the young ones! Never use a coloring product on your pet to try to dye a pet’s fur or skin. These products are not meant for pets and can cause allergic reactions, or worse.
Keep Pets Calm and Happy
If your pet isn’t extremely comfortable around lots of people, it’s best to keep them away from party guests or trick-or-treaters as the commotion, noise, and unfamiliar looking costumes can stress out even the most mellow pet. Handing out candy in your driveway or on a front porch so that trick-or-treaters don’t continue to knock or ring the doorbell is a good idea.
Have a happy (and safe) Halloween season!