Halloween and Your Pet

Halloween can be a fun time, but it can also be a scary time for your pet. Here are some tips on keeping your pet safe during Halloween.

Keep your pets inside. This is especially true if you have a black cat. Unfortunately, black cats have a terrible reputation built on superstitious beliefs — especially at this time of the year. It’s such a severe problem that most rescues and many human societies will not adopt out black cats during October. As difficult as it may seem to believe, some people go looking for animals to hurt on “All Hallows Eve.” These innocent pets then end up in the veterinary office being treated for burns and other injuries. So, keep your pets safe by keeping them indoors. It’s not a bad idea to make sure your pet is microchipped, or at the very least, is wearing an ID tag in case it gets out when the trick-or-treaters come knocking at the door. Sometimes pets will get lost when they become disoriented from all of the noise and strange costumes.

Chocolate and dogs don’t mix. Even candy wrappers can cause problems for your four-legged family member. Be sure to keep all of your little goblin goodies out of reach. And, don’t think your pet can’t jump onto high surfaces. Where there is a temptation, there is often a creative way to get what they want! I have walked into the dining room to find our lab mix on top of the dining room table because I thought I could put something up there out of her reach! It doesn’t take much chocolate to make your dog sick or even kill it. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include increased hyperactivity, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and coma. Check to see if your pet’s eyes are dilated, and the heart rate increased. If you think your dog may have eating chocolate, call your veterinarian for advice or a visit.

Another danger is the decorations. Did you know that the fake cobwebs you use to decorate your yard can kill your pet by blocking the digestive system? Candles can start fires and cause burns if knocked over by pets (or children, or adults!). Watch those decorations that dangle too. While pretty, they can cause tripping and strangling injuries.

Unless you have an unusual pet, it’s probably best to not take your pet trick-or-treating. Again, the noise and costumes can frighten an animal, turning your otherwise gentle friend into Cujo!

Finally, do you dress your pet up for Halloween? I realize there are pros and cons to the issue, but if you do decide to dress up Fluffy or Fido for Halloween, follow these tips from the ASPCA:

Make sure the costume does not limit his movement, hearing, sight, or ability to breathe or bark.

Check the costume for choking hazards.

A smart alternative to dressing your pet from head-to-paw? A simple, festive Halloween bandanna.

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