Nothing’s cuter than a pet in a costume, unless that costume has a matching outfit with a baby in it! But come Halloween, pets’ often view the night as more trick than treat. Follow these tips to ensure you and your pet have a fun and safe Halloween:
1. Trick-or-treat candies are not 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. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween, especially outdoor cats.
Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents.
3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will prevent them from darting outside into the night and prevent chaos when loud, costumed strangers constantly come to the door. Dogs who are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters.
4. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce upset stomach should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed.
5. 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. Don’t let curiosity kill your cat, as kittens are especially vulnerable to being burned.
6. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.
Avoid masks, which can obstruct your pet’s vision or ability to breathe. When the costume is on, make sure your pet can still move. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury. If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandannas usually work for party poopers, too.
7. Glowing or light reflective outfits.
Even better than a costume, keep you and your pet safe by wearing reflective or LED gear. An LED collar and/or leash would make a great “raver” costume for your dog. As a bonus, it can be used year-round for safer, nightly walks!
8. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having a collar, tags, and microchip will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date or contact our Low Cost Clinic to get your pets’ microchipped and ready for the spookiest night of the year!
Info sourced from aspca.org. Written by Tiffany Alioto