Halloween is a time of candy, costumes and parties. It is a fun holiday for children, but can be quite the opposite for your pet. There are several very real hazards for dogs and cats on this holiday, but you can keep your pet safe during Halloween by following a few simple guidelines.
While both children and adults enjoy Halloween costumes, pets often do not. Pets who are not accustomed to wearing costumes should not be forced to do so, as they may find the experience uncomfortable.
It can also be a somewhat stressful experience for pets to see hordes of trick-or-treaters wearing scary masks standing at your door. Even pets that are not afraid of the masks are still at risk, as they might rush past you to greet your brief holiday guests. For that reason, to keep pets safe during Halloween, it is best if they are locked in a back bedroom or a crate. It goes without saying that pets must be wearing identification tags or be implanted with a microchip just in case they should escape.
You might be tempted to take your dog trick-or-treating with you, but this is usually not a good idea. Even if your dog is not afraid of ghosts and goblins, he is at risk of being attacked by other dogs that can slip out of their front doors while candy is being passed around. It's best to leave Rover at home on Halloween.
One hazard specific to cats is that pranksters are known to kidnap black cats around Halloween - so all cats, especially black ones, should be kept strictly indoors.
Halloween decorations come with their own cautions. Fake spider webs can become entangled around a pet's legs or neck. Strings of decorative lights pose an electrocution risk. Jack-o'-lanterns with candles can be tipped over, starting fires. For your pet's safety during Halloween, keep all decorations out of reach.
Finally, the biggest hazard of all: candy. Never feed candy to your pets. Certain types of candy are particularly toxic. Chocolate, even in small amounts, can cause serious illness in dogs and cats. Certain types of artificial sweeteners can also be very dangerous. Accidentally ingested candy wrappers have been known to cause painful intestinal upset. By all means, give your pets treats on Halloween, but give them treats made especially for them and keep the candy away.
Holidays should be a fun time for all, so to ensure that yours is a treat and not a trick, take these steps and keep your pets safe during Halloween.