Kids and adults alike look forward to the fun of Halloween, but October 31 and the days leading up to it can cause extreme stress for your pet. This starts with Halloween decorations. Whether it’s orange and black streamers or a carved pumpkin with a lit candle inside, you need to be extra vigilant supervising your pet around seasonal decorations. It only takes a forceful wag of a tail to knock over a candle and start a fire. Curious pets can also make themselves sick trying to eat streamers, cardboard cutouts, and candy corn used in Halloween decorations.
Candy is for Humans, Not Pets
Most people buy their stash of Halloween candy well in advance so they are prepared for the onslaught of trick-or-treaters. If you or your kids break into the treats before Halloween arrives, don’t give any of them to your dog or cat no matter how much he begs. This is especially important with chocolate as it contains ingredients that could induce vomiting, diarrhea, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener found in sugarless candy, is problematic for pets as well.
Keep Your Pet Indoors Away from the Halloween Commotion Constant knocks on the door and ringing of the doorbell will put your pet on edge. She could even escape out the door in all of the excitement. We agree with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room on Halloween night. Be sure to prepare the room with your pet’s food, toys, and bedding a few hours before the start of trick-or-treating. While you should keep the door shut, peek in every so often to see how she is doing.
Sadly, Halloween can bring out the pranksters and people who are just plain sadistic to animals. Black cats are especially at risk due to the superstitions associated with them. In fact, many animal shelters will not allow people to adopt black cats near Halloween due to concerns for their safety. This is all the more reason to keep your pet inside and away from the front door on Halloween night.
Safety Tips for Pet Costumes
Dressing your pet in a Halloween costume can be too adorable to resist, especially with all of the creative ideas out there. If you choose to do so, make sure that his eyes aren’t covered and that he can breathe freely. Additionally, keep in mind that dogs and cats like to chew on things. Their curiosity about the costume may cause them to ingest a piece of fabric or something else that could make them sick. As with Halloween decorations, you need to be especially diligent about supervising your pets in costume.
If you experience an emergency with your pet during regular clinic hours, please contact us right away. If it’s after hours, see the information on this page to get in touch with emergency veterinary services.