Halloween is almost here! In addition to coming up with costumes, remembering to buy candy, and making party plans, there’s one more thing to think about at Halloween time: your pet’s safety. Here are some tips for keeping your pet nice and safe on the night of the ghouls:
- Keep all candy safely out of reach. Candy of any kind is extremely unhealthy for pets, and chocolate even in moderate amounts can be deadly due to the caffeine content. Make sure the candy you’re giving out at the door is inaccessible to your pets, and when your children come home with their treat bags filled to the brim, help them find a safe place to store it. Teach your kids that candy is very dangerous for animals so they’ll be less likely to accidentally leave it out where it can be gobbled up.
- Don’t forget the wrappers! Although a discarded candy bar wrapper may not contain enough chocolate to be dangerous, it may have enough to be tasty. If ingested, wrappers can create a blockage in the esophagus or digestive system, so throw all candy wrappers away in a lidded, secure trash can.
- Keep pets away from the door. Many people coming to your door, most dressed in strange costumes, can be extremely stressful, especially for nervous or timid pets. And, of course, every time a little demon or goblin rings the doorbell, you open it, creating lots of opportunities for your pets to bolt out the door. Consider creating a pet-safe space in a secure room of the house, complete with your pet’s bedding, toys, and some distracting background noise like a television or radio. (Make sure the television is playing something calming, not “A Nightmare on Elm Street XII”, for instance.) As always, make sure your dog or cat is wearing current identification tags and that all microchip information is up-to-date.
- Keep cats, especially black cats, indoors from the days leading up to Halloween until after the holiday. Animal abduction and torture might sound like a cheesy horror movie, but it does happen, so better safe than sorry. Most animal shelters and rescue groups put a moratorium on black-cat adoptions for the week surrounding Halloween.
- Dressing your pet in costume can be fun, but make sure there are no small parts your pet can choke on, and never put anything around your pet’s neck other than their collar.