Happy Pets Mean Safety for Everyone on Halloween
Creative costumes. Delightful decorations. Tasty treats. These are some of the best things about Halloween . . . for people, at least. But for your pets, Halloween can be a scary, stressful, and even dangerous time.
Halloween Tips for Pet Safety
To make sure your furry friends enjoy Halloween, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers these helpful tips:
- Keep candy in a safe, unreachable place. This is particularly important if your Halloween handouts include chocolate. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which is toxic for dogs. A small amount of theobromine can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Larger amounts can lead to seizures, internal bleeding, heart problems, or even death. Any sugar-free candies that contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are also toxic to dogs. To prevent a messy sickness or dangerous complications, never leave candy where a curious dog can reach it.
- Before buying that adorable costume for your pet, consider the dangers. Some costumes contain small pieces that can easily be chewed off, causing a choking hazard. If a costume is ill-fitting, it might hinder a pet’s ability to move or breathe. Plus, wearing a costume can be stressful, if nothing else! Only put a costume on your pet if you know they love wearing costumes.
- Consider the dangers that come with decorations. Decorations with open flames are particularly dangerous, as a pet could easily knock it over, causing damage to themselves or others in the home. You should avoid any edible decorations, like pumpkins or decorative corn, as these things can cause illness if consumed by pets.
- Keep your pets calm. On Halloween night or during a party, there will be a lot of doors opening, doorbells ringing, and people coming and going. Consider keeping your pet in a separate room, where they can enjoy some pet-friendly treats and their favorite toys in peace.
- Before Halloween, make sure you pet is microchipped or wearing a collar with identification, so they can be returned to you if they slip outside during the festivities.
Beware of Stressed-Out Pets
When pets, particularly dogs, are agitated or panicked, they can also cause problems for humans. When guests come to the house of a stressed-out dog, it could react with aggression or panic, leading to injuries. To avoid a dog bite on Halloween, stay away from houses where a dog is tied up outside or even behind a fence. Don’t approach any dogs, even if you have spent time around the dog before; if you’re wearing a costume, they might not recognize you. And of course, don’t provoke, tease, or harass any dogs you encounter. Even if they’re usually a nice, calm dog, you never know how stress or fear will make them react.
Whether you are a pet owner or someone who lives in a neighborhood with lots of pets, try to keep them in mind during Halloween and other holidays!
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