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Avoiding Halloween Pet Hazards to Keep Your Pets Safe

halloween pet hazards

Halloween is spooky, fun and festive for kids and adults alike, but it can be a bit frightening for your pets. There are lots of Halloween pet hazards that can injure or terrify your furry friends.  To make sure your pets get through the festivities and trick-or-treating safely, keep these tips in mind:

Candy Isn’t for Pets

There isn’t any candy that your pets should eat, but chocolate is particularly dangerous for cats and dogs. If you pet begins vomiting, breathing rapidly or has diarrhea or seizures, it could be chocolate poisoning. Another problem is the artificial sweetener xylitol. It can cause a rapid drop in pets’ blood sugar, leading to seizures and loss of coordination that make them appear drunk.

Keep the Halloween Trappings Away from Your Pets

While pumpkin isn’t necessarily poisonous, too much of anything can give your pets an upset stomach. A problem with jack-o-lanterns is the candles that are used to illuminate them. If your dog or cat knocks one over, they could start a fire or burn themselves.

Keep Your Pets Inside

None of us like to think about our pets being teased, taunted or abused, but there is often a sharp increase in reports of animals being injured, stolen or even killed by Halloween revellers. Ideally, you should keep your pets inside, particularly during trick or treat hours. People in costumes can seem strange and frightening to pets, causing them to lash out or bite. The noise and commotion can add to their distress. Keeping them in a secure, quiet room will make it safer for both them and Halloween visitors. Cats are particularly vulnerable to being stolen or abused because some people associate them with witchcraft. Black cats are very vulnerable during this time.

Keep Electrical Cords, Wires and Light Strands Out of Reach

A pet who chews on electrical cords or wires could injure his or her mouth or get an uncomfortable and dangerous jolt of electric shock. Also be wary of broken decorations, pieces of costumes, plastic treat bags and other items that your pet could choke on.

Keep Your Pets’ Comfort in Mind if They Will be in a Costume

Some pets love donning a costume and being the center of attention. Others are miserable when you try to help them into a superhero costume. Pay attention to how your pet acts when you start to put a costume on them. Take pity on your pet and forego the costume if your dog or cat isn’t sharing your love of it. If you do dress your pet up, choose a costume that won’t restrict their vision and doesn’t have anything that will make it difficult for them to move.

Make Sure Your Pets Are Easily Seen

If you’re taking your pet out on Halloween night, please use a leash and make sure they can be easily seen in the dark. Reflective collars and lighter colored clothing will help, as will reflective tape on their costumes. Also consider taking a flashlight with you when taking your pet for a walk.

Make Sure Your Pets Have Identification on Them

If your pet does get loose on Halloween, you’ll get them back sooner if they have the right identification on them. They should have dog tags with your contact information on them so that whoever finds them can get them safely returned to you. While microchipping is valuable, a tag is more immediate.

Don’t Ignore Your Pets on Halloween

It’s tempting to focus entirely on the trick-or-treaters, but ignoring your pets can make them unnecessarily anxious. The night will be scary and unfamiliar to them; if you ignore them they will only feel more distressed. Try to take breaks and spend some time petting your cat, giving your dog belly rubs or whatever will make them feel more secure.

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