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Halloween Pet Safety Tips
October 25, 2018
Animal Health, Animal Welfare
Dogs dressed up as ghosts for Halloween

It’s fun to be frightened on Halloween night
Of ghosts and goblins and creatures that bite
Yet people with pets ought best be aware
There are some real risks that could give you a scare!
Just follow the tips that come after this rhyme
And both you and your pet can have a great time.

Planning to dress Fido up as Frankenstein?  Remember, some pets don’t like costumes. If wearing one makes them uncomfortable or anxious, take it off! Otherwise, make sure whatever they’re wearing can’t block their vision, hearing, movement or breathing, cause choking, or get tangled in things.

Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests? It might be best to keep your pet away from the excitement, in a quiet room/part of the house.  All the people and costumes can be overwhelming, and opened doors can be too much of a temptation for an excited or frightened pet.  Make sure they’re wearing their collar and tags, just in case – they’ll have a much better chance of getting back to you.

Don’t let curiosity kill the cat! Glowing jack-o-lanterns and flickering candles are great, but keep them out of reach of curious paws and sniffing noses.  Pets might get burned, or knock them over and start a fire.  The same goes for other decorations, too. Fake spiderwebs or streamers could be swallowed, and if you have a chewer, make sure the power cord for that talking skull is covered, unreachable or unappealing (check your pet store/vet for pet deterrent products).

Halloween candy is for people, not pets!  While kids might get a tummyache, treat-gobbling pets are taking a real, possibly fatal risk. No-nos include chocolate (cats and dogs), raisins (dogs) and the low-calorie sweetener xylitol.  Even wrappers or lollypops could cause harmful blockages or choking.  Share the festivities (and distract them) with pet treats or (scary!) dog bones instead.

Some tricks are no treat at all: unfortunately some people might be inspired to play risky or even vicious pranks on pets.  If your pet normally goes outside, you might want to keep them in around this time, just to be safe.