Are you passing out candy to trick-or-treaters this year? How about dressing your pet up in a costume? From decorating to celebrating, you and your pet can enjoy a stress-free Halloween by following a few simple safety precautions.
Candy is for "ghouls and goblins," not the household pet
- All chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate, and seizures.
- Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous and deadly to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures.
- Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.
- Pumpkins and decorative corn used for decorations are considered to be relatively non-toxic, but they can produce gastrointestinal upset in pets if eaten.
- Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets to reduce chances of injury or electrocution.
- Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
Dressing Your Pet for the Holiday
- Don't put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know they love it. For a pet not used to dressing up, wearing a costume can cause it undue stress.
- If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his/her ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, it’s time to take the costume off.
- Make sure the costume fits your pet correctly, that it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that they could choke on.
Keep Your Pets in a Quiet Environment
- Dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.
IDs, please - Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that they will be returned to you. If you pet already has a microchip, please check that it is updated with your current contact information.
A Word about Black Cats
- This time of year especially, black cats get a bad reputation because of silly superstitions, and because of that, sometimes they can be targets for cruelty. Consider adopting a black cat
from the Bradshaw Animal shelter, as they are just as wonderful a pet and are only half as likely to find forever homes.