Halloween is here, and though you might get a kick out of the adorable witches and ghosts who come trick-or-treating to your door, your dog or cat may not be as thrilled. Don’t let October 31 become you and your pet’s worst nightmare. No one wants to spend Halloween night looking for an escape artist pet or rushing their pet to the emerg.
Here are five Halloween hazards for cats and dogs, and what you can do to prevent them and keep your animal safe.
1. Keep Costumes Comfortable and Safe
Your pet might look adorable as Elsa from Frozen, but if your dog or cat paws at or squirms in her costume, she does not want to wear it. If you pet doesn’t seem averse to being dressed up, make sure their costume fits well, can be seen in the dark, and doesn’t have buttons, threads, beads or ties that can be chewed off. Supervise your costumed pet at all times and limit the amount of time they wear the outfit.
2. Watch for Escape Artists
The constant ringing of the doorbell combined with trick-or-treaters in masks and costumes can be stressful and scary for pets and cause them to react badly or even dash out the door. Keep your dog on a leash or in their crates. If you have a cat, keep them in another part of the house or in a closed room or crate. And no matter what precautions you take, make sure your pet is wearing a collar with proper identification, and, if there not already, you should consider getting your pet microchipped.
3. Keep Candy Away
Keep all sweets out of your pets reach. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can lead to stomach upset or even life-threatening situations for both dogs and cats. Sugar-free candy is also risky, as it may contain xylitol, which can cause low blood sugar and liver damage in dogs.
4. Beware of Dangerous Decorations
Halloween decorations are festive and fun, but some can be risky for pets. A cat or dog can easily knock over a lighted jack-o’-lantern, potentially causing a fire. So use a battery-operated candle or flashlight in your pumpkin instead. And while you’re at it, keep edible decorations out of reach. Consuming large quantities of pumpkin or decorative corn can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets. Scary decorations that make noise and have flashing lights also can upset animals, so be mindful of your pet if you choose to display them. And it’s also a good idea to secure stringed lights or electric cords — pets can chew on or get tangled in them.
5. Let Your Dog Stay Home
It might seem like fun to take your pooch out trick-or-treating, but it could quickly turn into a nightmare. Flashing lights and unexpected sounds can alarm your pet, potentially creating a troubling encounter between an overexcited dog and the neighborhood kids. Do everyone a favor by leaving your dog at home.
This blog was written by McQueen Animal Hospital, an animal clinic (vet hospital/vet clinic) in Brampton committed to providing only the highest level of veterinary care to our beloved pets.