Keep your pet safe during Halloween. Although humans love Halloween this isn’t always the case for dogs and cats. Many pets normally friendly with strangers can become fearful, protective and scared. Below are some tips to help keep your dog and cat safe during this Halloween holiday.
- Keep your dog or cat inside and confined. If you have a dog that is normally inside or outside or in a fenced-in yard, keep him or her inside. Even dogs that are normally great with strangers can become fearful when exposed to the chanting and costumes. We have found that the visual and sound stimulation can lead to unpredictable behaviors. If you have indoor/outdoor cats – keep your cats in. If you have outdoor cats – preferably – keep them someplace safe for the night such as in the garage. Animals have been teased, stolen, injured – even killed – by trick-or-treaters carried away by the excesses of the holiday.
- Keep your cat or dog restrained or confined. To minimize your dog or cat’s stress, keep him or her confined to one area of the house. Keep your cat in a room away from the front door with plenty of fresh water and a familiar bed. It may sound unsociable, but too many strangers in weird costumes can scare an animal. This can prevent pets from becoming overly excited, aggressive or chance running outside and becoming lost. It is not uncommon for some pets to sneak out an open door to become lost forever.
- Check your pet’s ID tag. Be sure your pet’s identification tags are secure on your pet’s collar and provide the most accurate information that includes your current phone number (such as your mobile). Keep microchip information current.
- Keep candy and chocolate away from your dog and cat. Many candies—especially chocolate—are toxic to pets. Chocolate is toxic and lollipop and candy-apple sticks can get stuck in an animal’s throat or perforate the stomach or bowels. The severity of the toxicity will depend on the size of your dog, and the type and amount of chocolate ingested. Signs can range vomiting and diarrhea, or even death. If you have any concerns at all, call us. Also, wrappers can be ingested and become stuck in the intestinal tract causing a blockage.
- No Sugar Free and no raisons. Sugar free candies and treats can also be toxic to your pets. Xylitol is used in some candy, gum and even peanut butter and can cause hypoglycemic shock which can be fatal. Healthy people snacks like raisins are also toxic to dogs.
- Protect dogs and cats from candles and pumpkins. Beautiful jack-o-lanterns and candles can be dangerous when knocked over by a jump or swishing tail. This can lead to house fires or burns.
- Careful with costumes. Some dogs love to dress up but others don’t. Let your dog get used to the idea of a costume by smelling the scent and having some practice time before Halloween with the costume on. Make sure it is not too tight, that your dog can see if there is a mask, and that your pet doesn’t overheat. If your dog doesn’t like being dressed up, don’t force the issue.
- Reassure your pet. The best thing you can do for your dog or cat when he is feeling unsettled by Halloween activities is to act as you normally would. Over-reassuring your pet may communicate that because you are acting differently, there must be something to worry about.
- Careful with lights. If you decorate your house with Halloween lights, make sure wires are secured out of the way so your pet doesn’t chew them: Cats are naturally inquisitive and are likely to try to explore with their paws and mouths. Also, make sure all decorations don’t have loose or sharp parts that can snag a tail or wound a paw.