All Hallow’s Eve is right around the corner. This year it looks as though many areas will be back to business as usual, with tiny ghouls and goblins out canvassing the neighborhood for tricks and treats.
For some animals, this is a welcome celebration. Some dogs are big fans of strangers coming to the door or traipsing up and down the street. Some though, are the opposite, and see stranger danger in every witch and wizard.
But a like or dislike of Halloween celebrations isn’t the only thing to remember when it comes to our animals, and so, keep these Halloween safety tips for pets in mind for safe, spooky season!
Halloween Safety Tips for Pets
Keep your pets safe at home and out and about with these Halloween safety tips for pets.
Where we live there’s a Halloween decorating contest every year, and people go all-out. We participate, but are always careful that the decorations we put up don’t pose a risk to our pets.
Both inside and outside, keep these things in mind when decorating:
- Keep lit jack-o-lanterns away from pets.
- Consider using fake candles instead of real ones.
- Keep scary music or Halloween sounds low inside.
- Make sure any and all decorations don’t pose a choking or other threat.
- Watch pets for their reactions. If they seem scared or nervous of a certain decoration, either change its location or forego it.
Watch Those Treats!
Dogs love treats, but most pet parents know that sharing those Halloween delights shouldn’t be part of the festivities.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is a definite no-no, but it isn’t the only Halloween treat to be cautious of. Many candies, especially gum, contain xylitol, a naturally occurring substance that is widely used as a sugar substitute. It’s extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death.
Whether you’re handing them out or snacking on the couch, keep those out of reach.
All Dressed Up?
Some dogs absolutely love putting on a costume, no matter what time of year it is. Others, however, can’t imagine anything worse. If you buy a costume, never force it on your dog. And even if they allow you to put it on, watch for subtle cues that they’re uncomfortable.
Sometimes, a fun Halloween bandana is just as good as a full-on costume – and those pets who dread dressing up will feel much more comfortable!
A Safe Place
No matter what your plans are for the night, make sure your pet feels safe.
If, as mentioned, your dog isn’t a fan of the parade of kids going up and down the street or the constant door knocking, make sure they have a safe place to escape to.
- Allow your pet to curl up in the closet or head to their bed to get away from the noise.
- Play some soothing music inside to help drown out the sounds of flourishing activity outside.
- Consider something natural to soothe any anxious feelings and help your pet settle. Relax would be our go-to.
As much as we hate to say it, sometimes Halloween really does bring out the worst in people, and even just those looking for harmless fun can pose a threat to your pet.
- Walk during the day to avoid the heavy foot traffic at night (and the costumes that can freak out even the least anxious pup).
- Make sure your pup’s wearing their collar with updated ID at all times, just in case they sneak out.
- Consider only allowing your pup out in the yard for quick bathroom breaks, always supervised, once the sun goes down.
- If your pup is a runner, keep them away from the door at all times during the trick or treat festivities.
- If walking at night, be sure to wear bright clothing and carry a flashlight.
This year, a little extra caution and following these Halloween safety tips for pets will keep everyone safe and happy all night long!