Halloween Pet Tips
By Patricia Thomblison, DVM, MS
BOO!!! Halloween can be both fun and terrifying. There are several things to consider to make it a safe time for you and your pets. Here are a few.
Yes or no? A lot depends on whether your pet enjoys being in costume. If you are sure they love being dressed up, there are a few things to think about when selecting a costume to reduce stress on your pets. It is important to make sure that the costume is well-fitting. It should not limit their movement, ability to see, smell, bark, or meow. It should have no small parts that can be chewed or become a choking hazard. Keep an eye on them while they are wearing the costume and make sure they can move around easily. If your pet doesn’t like to wear costumes, you can always put on a festive collar or scarf to keep in the Halloween mood.
There is often a lot of hubbub around Halloween. Pets may be frightened by costumes on people whether they know them or not. When the goblins are ringing your doorbell it’s a good idea to keep your pets away from the door or even confined in another room. There’s less risk of them dashing out the door after the trick or treaters. It’s best to leave them in safe places where they are not at risk.
Most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs but it’s a good idea to keep all the candy away from your pets. Not only chocolate, but that bag of goodies can create quite the tummy ache in a pet and some treats may actually be toxic. Raisins are on the list of toxicities for dogs, so be sure they stay away from those. Also, sugar-free candy and gum with the sugar substitute xylitol can cause serious problems to your pet. Contact your veterinarian if you believe your pet consumed something they shouldn’t have.
There are lots of ways decorations can create trouble for your pets. Jack-o-lanterns are fun, but if a lit candle is knocked over it could cause a fire or burn your pet. Kittens seem to be attracted to flames and run the risk of getting singed or worse. Spooky cobwebs can be a choking hazard so be sure to place them up high out of reach of your pet. Monitor all your decorations to see if your pet has a special interest in them and keep them safe.
Quick Tips Overview
- Select costumes that fit and pet will enjoy
- Separate pets from unknown people or costumes
- Keep the treats away from the pets
- Keep decorations safe and away from your pet
Keep in mind what is best for your pet and you can enjoy a safe and happy Halloween!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Patricia Thomblison is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science. She has devoted her career to keeping pets healthy and happy. She has served many roles in this endeavor to educate veterinary professionals and pet parents on many topics of animal health. She has worn several hats in the areas of clinical pathology, nutrition, and parasitology. She is a well-respected medical editor, veterinary consultant, and lecturer. She enjoys the company of her two cats, Miles Davis and Stewart, as well as a rambunctious dog named Barnibus and her children’s dogs.