Pet Safety for Halloween – 10 Safety Tips for Pets

10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Nicolas, selected from petMD

 

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families.  But for  pets? Let’s face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the  stress and  dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.

1. Candy Isn’t for Pets

All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be  dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid  breathing, increased heart rate  and seizures. Halloween candies containing the  artificial sweetener  xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts  of xylitol can  cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of  coordination  and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be   established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Don’t Leave Pets in the Yard on Halloween.

Sadly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure and  steal pets on  Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes. But  preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep Pets Confined and Away from the Door.

Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on  Halloween, but  strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling  loudly for their  candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry  friends. Dogs are especially  territorial and may become anxious and  growl at innocent trick-or-treaters.  Putting your dog or cat in a secure  room away from the front door will also  prevent them from darting  outside into the night … a night when no one wants to  be searching for a  lost loved one.

4. Keep Outdoor cats Inside For Several Days Before and Several Days  After Halloween.

Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other  cruelty-related  incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black  cats during the month  of October as a safety precaution.

5. Keep Halloween Plants Like Pumpkins and Corn Out of  Reach.

Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce   gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities.   Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed.

6. Don’t Keep Lit Pumpkins Around Pets.

Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or  knocking it over and causing a fire.

7. Keep wires and Electric Light Cords Out of Reach.

If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or  plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

8. Don’t Dress Your Pet in a Costume Unless You Know They’ll Love  It.

If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it  isn’t  annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or  the ability  to breathe or bark/meow.

9. Try on Pet Costumes Before the Big Night.

If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior,  consider  letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas  usually work for  party poopers, too.

10. IDs, Please!

If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper   identification will increase the chances that they will be returned.  Just make  sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have  one of those  fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.