Halloween can be lots of fun for families, with costumes, parties, trick-or-treat, and lots of sweets. But the same things that make Halloween so fun for humans can be scary or downright dangerous for pets. The most important thing you can do for your furry friends is to keep them inside both on and near Halloween, especially if you have black cats. They are sadly a target for some very sick people. Watch your pets carefully when trick-or-treaters come to the door. You don’t want them slipping out while you are handing out candy. You can use a child gate to keep dogs away from the door or simply keep pets in a quiet, closed room away from the main door. Turning on a TV or some soft music will help. In addition to keeping your pets inside, it will also keep overly excitable dogs away from small children. Even the friendliest dog can be terrifying to a young child if it is rushing toward them. Halloween evening would be a great time to present your pets with a special treat to keep them distracted from the constant ringing of the doorbell.
Keep any candy and human treats out of reach from pets, especially dogs. If you think it’s high enough, you may want to move it just a little higher. Dogs can be very persistent in trying to get at something that might be tasty! Chocolate and treats containing xylitol are especially dangerous to pets. Candy wrappers, small toys, and Halloween decorations can also be a hazard to cats and dogs. Dogs may try to eat the wrappers, while cats often want to play with things, especially anything stringy. If your pet ingests any of these items, call your vet immediately. There are emergency clinics in most areas that can answer after-hours questions or see your pet if they need to be taken in right away.
Costumes are fun and many people like to dress their pets up as well. If you do, make sure the costume fits well and does not have small parts that could easily be eaten. Never leave a pet in a costume unattended. Watch your pet’s reaction as well. Some animals are very tolerant of costumes, while others can be overly stressed by them.
If you follow these tips, everyone in the family can have a happy and safe Halloween!
No cats were harmed in the making of this image! Anya posed for a few pictures and the costume was quickly removed. She was appropriately rewarded with salmon treats!