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Toil and trouble: Four Halloween pet dangers

dog-in-costume

On Halloween, the regular rules go out the window. There’s lots of candy, being out after dark, maybe a scary movie. It’s a good time for the whole family, and that includes your pets – as long as you take steps to keep them safe.

Keep trick-or-treating from being scary
Trick-or-treating can be stressful for your pets in a few ways:

  • They may have anxiety meeting strangers
  • The doorbell may send them running
  • They may encounter small children who pull tails or poke eyes
  • They may be overwhelmed with the excitement

You don’t have to skip out on handing out candy or going house to house, though. If you’re staying home, you can keep your pet happy and safe by:

  • Keeping them in a room far from the front door
  • Providing a safe space, such as a kennel or closet, for them to hide in
  • Providing favorite blankets or toys
  • Giving special treats
  • Handing out treats from the garage or driveway
  • Setting up a pet gate in your doorway

If you’re venturing out, try these tips:

  • Use a secure leash and harness
  • Microchip your pet before Halloween
  • Put identification tags on your pets’ collars
  • Turn off porch light or hang a sign alerting trick-or-treaters not to ring the doorbell
  • Put a bowl of candy on the porch or at the end of the driveway to discourage doorbell ringing and knocking

Treats for you, tricks for your pets
Several Halloween treats are toxic for your pets, including:

  • Chocolate
  • Gum
  • Cookies and cakes made from a box mix
  • Sugar-free mints
  • Sugar-free candy
  • Raisins
  • Small toys that could pose a choking hazard

Keep all the candy out of reach of your pets, whether that means in a cabinet, on top of a fridge, in a pantry, or on top of the table. Store candy in a container with a lid so if a crafty cat does find it on top of a cabinet, it’s still impossible to get into it.

If your pet ingests any Halloween candy, give Animal Medical Center a call right away, or the nearest emergency pet hospital. It’s best to call us and not need us, than to need us and not call.

Scary decorations
Halloween decorations are meant to spook people, but they could pose a real danger to your pets. That includes:

  • Real candles in jack-o’-lanterns
  • Batteries (if chewed)
  • Cords in yards
  • Items that make loud noises that could spook your pet

Keep your pets separate from your carved pumpkins. If you’re venturing out with your dog, make sure he doesn’t chew on any stray cords and that his harness and leash are secure in case of loud sounds.

Claws-trophobic costumes
Whether your pet wears a costume without complaint or shakes it off at the first opportunity, keep a constant eye on them. You don’t want your dog walking around with a paw stuck in a neck hole, or your cat ingesting fabric after chewing himself loose. Stay away from dyes and hair sprays meant for human use, and from small accessories that could pose choking hazards.

There’s no reason your fur babies can’t get into the spooky spirit, as long as you take some steps to keep them safe and happy.



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512.832.4119