It’s nearly time for Halloween, and that means many of us are gearing up for the big day. Spooky decorations are going up, bowls of candy are being laid out with care, and pumpkins are beginning to dot the porches of our neighborhoods. It’s a wonderland of ghoulish behavior, all in the name of good fun. For our pets, however, there are some very real dangers lurking around each eerie corner, and we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you make sure Fido and Mittens make it through the holiday safe and sound.
Place Candy Dishes Out of Reach
While everyone knows that candy is the centerpiece to any successful Halloween, when it comes to your cats and dogs, human treats are off limits. Chocolate is a very real threat to the health of your animal, but it’s not the only one. Treats that contain the sweetener xylitol and candy wrappers can also be dangerous, and even those that are non-toxic can still cause an upset stomach. Make sure you place all candies in dishes that are far out of the reach of your four-legged friends. Talk to your kids about the dangers of giving your pets these candies as well. If you want to make sure your little buddy has something special this Halloween, pick up some pet-friendly treats from your local pet store.
The ASPCA suggests that if you do suspect that your pet has ingested anything toxic, you should call either your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Keep Your Animals Indoors
Unfortunately, some people use Halloween as an excuse to get a little out of hand with pranks. Though many people limit their tricks to harmless acts of misbehavior, there are those who would go so far as to harm innocent creatures. Pet MD suggests keeping your animals indoors for a few days before and after Halloween. When it comes to their safety, it’s better to be proactive and extra careful to ensure no harm comes to your pets.
Check Your Decorations for Safety Hazards
This bit of advice will take you through the entire holiday season. As pet lovers, we all know that our furry little friends love to chew on pretty much anything they can get their mouths around. Because of this, it’s extremely important that you protect your pets by tucking the extra wires and cords that come with decorations and colorful lights out of reach. Also, consider ditching the candles when you light your hand-carved pumpkins and use battery-powered lights instead. These small steps will help keep your dogs and cats safe from potential fire and electrical hazards.
Choose Pet Costumes Wisely, If At All
It’s a known fact that animals dressing up for Halloween is one of the cutest things ever to have happened to anyone ever in the history of mankind. Perhaps that’s why, according to Newsweek, an estimated 22 million people will be running to the stores to pick up their pet’s Halloween costume this year. With that said, you have to remember that your pets may not be as excited as you are to put on that adorable T. rex costume. It’s important to get a costume that not only makes your pet’s cute levels shoot through the roof, but also keeps them out of harm’s way. Make sure the costume fits properly, so it’s not too restrictive, doesn’t cause them to choke, and leaves them with room to bark (or meow) and breathe. Also, look for small or dangling pieces or attachments that could be potential choking hazards. And really, if your dog or cat isn’t digging the costume, take a quick picture to share with all your friends, then give Sparky a break and take it off.
Separate Your Pets from the Trick-or-Treaters
As the neighborhood kids begin making their way to your front door, it’s good practice to keep your cats and dogs away. Doing so will ensure they won’t dart out the door as soon as you pass out treats. Also, with all the knocking, doorbell ringing and general noise that goes on when the neighborhood comes alive on Halloween, it can all be a little overwhelming to your pet. Keeping them in another room may help an anxious cat or dog feel more safe and secure as the hustle and bustle is out of sight.
Have any more ideas on how to keep your loved pets safe during Halloween? Share with us below, and have a safe and happy Halloween!