- Don’t share Halloween candy with your pets. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, and other candy could damage their teeth and overall health. Make sure when the kids come back from trick-or-treating, they put their stash out of paws’ reach.
- Keep your pets a safe distance from trick-or-treaters. Having a steady stream of strangers on their turf might make pets anxious and unpredictable.
- As you open and close the door to dish out candy, keep an eye on your dog or cat – pets can easily slip away and end up lost.
- If you put a costume on your pet, make sure that nothing about the costume could interfere with his breathing or ability to see. Also, make sure that no parts of the costume could tangle or choke him. And keep on eye on him the whole time — never leave an outfitted pet alone.
- If you take your dog trick-or-treating with you, make sure that he is on a leash and has the proper ID tags on his collar. You don’t want to have to go looking for him, but if he does get lost, tags with your name and phone number make it much more likely that you’ll get him back.
- If you have a black cat, or even a dark gray one, keep close tabs on him during the days and weeks leading up to Halloween. If possible, keep him indoors to prevent him from being the victim of any pranks.
- Never leave your four-legged loved ones outside during Halloween. Unfortunately there are plenty of people out there who play pranks that could seriously harm your pet.
- Remember to keep candy out of reach of your pets. Chocolate is extremely dangerous, as are many of the wrappers.
- If your pet is typically skittish give them a nice quiet, safe place in the house so they don’t become frightened.
- If your pet is social and you would like them to be part of the Halloween festivities, it’s best to keep them leashed in the event they become spooked and try to dart out the door.
- Make sure your animals are properly tagged and microchipped in case of escape.
- Don’t dress up pets unless they love it. If you do dress them up, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. Avoid restriction of movement, vision, hearing or the ability to breathe or vocalize. Costumes should not contain small dangling accessories that could be consumed or cause choking.
- Restrict your pet’s access to decorations. Jack o’ lanterns with candles are obvious fire hazards, but cats can also get tangled in streamers. Pets can also become ill from eating holiday decor.
From Last Chance for Animals:
- Keep Your Cat indoors at all times for the month of October. Many cats are stolen and sacrificed around Halloween – especially black cats. Keep yours safe by keeping them inside at all times for the entire month of October and for the week after Halloween.
- Help your companion animal find a quiet, secure area away from Halloween activities. The strangers in costumes at the front door may frighten and even threaten dogs and cats into unpredictable behavior.
- Frequently opened doors are an opportunity for a stressed animal to escape. Keep a close eye on your companion animals as trick-or-treaters come and go. Make sure your companion animal has proper identification at all times; microchips and tattoos are your best bet to ensure that your lost animal finds its way home!
- Keep candy out of reach of companion animals. The smell of candy can be very tempting. Many of the treats (including the wrappers) are dangerous and toxic to companion animals. Contact your vet if you suspect your companion animal has ingested something toxic.
- Keep companion animals away from dangerous Halloween decorations. Burning candles, jack-o-lanterns, streamers, hanging lights and lawn decorations can be safety hazards.
- Please do not force companion animals into the holiday spirit by making them wear costumes. Most animals do not like to wear costumes as it causes them to be confused, uncomfortable and fearful.
- Keep cats indoors. Trick-or-treaters will open your door throughout the night, so safely secure your cat inside your house. Urging caution, Lorraine Corriveau, wellness veterinarian at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, released this statement: “Although the threat is probably minimal, many people are concerned about black cats during this time of year. It might be wise to keep all cats indoors. If you can’t keep your cat indoors, consider a boarding facility or your family veterinarian. It may help to keep your [cat] safe.”
- Keep your cat away from garlands of ghosts that can tangle up your playful cat or, worse, tempt him into eating them. Use special caution around Jack-o-Lanterns and any other decoration that might have a candle because of the potential fire hazard. Corriveau’s release says some decorations, especially stringy ones like fake cobwebs, can cause life-threatening digestive conditions if ingested.
- Never put a costume on your cat that could constrict her breathing or movement. Some suggest that the rule should be: Never put a costume on your cat.
- Hide the Halloween candy. Chocolate is especially toxic, and cats can fall ill from ingesting other Halloween candy as well. Chewy candy and gums can potentially choke cats or cause intestinal obstructions, according to Corriveau. She adds that lollipop or popsicle sticks and foil wrappers also can become lodged in cats’ throats or digestive tracts. If your cat does consume candy or any toxic substance, contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center.
- Candy is everywhere on Halloween, in bowls, on tables, next to doors and in trick-or-treat bags being carried at dog level. Candy also makes it onto the floor when spilled during the handout or dumped out for the all-important candy sort.
- While not all candy is specifically poisonous, large ingestions of sugar and fat in candy can lead to pancreatitis.
- Highly poisonous to dogs, chocolate is present in a substantial amount of Halloween goodies that should never be shared with your pet.
- Candy wrappers can be even more dangerous than the candy itself. Foil and cellophane can cause life-threatening bowel obstructions, which may require surgery.
- Some people switch out the usual candy for a healthy snack of raisins. Raisins are highly toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.
- While many people feed small amounts of pumpkin to their dogs for health purposes, there is a big difference between cooked and pureed “food-friendly” pumpkin, and decorative, raw pumpkins.
Dogs should not eat the shell and seeds of squash or pumpkins. Many decorative pumpkins and gourds are coated with materials such as glue, glitter or shellac that can be toxic to your pet.
- Carved pumpkins can also be dangerous, as they may deteriorate and grow mold over time.
- Chewing on glow sticks can cause mouth pain, irritation and drooling. Ingesting a glow stick can cause intestinal blockage.
- Children’s Halloween costumes can often include small parts, glitter and unusual materials that may resemble toys or chew toys. Do not leave the costume accessible and beware of any loose pieces that might be tempting for dogs.
- When selecting a Halloween costume for your dog, make sure that it fits well. A costume that is too restrictive or too loose could cause harm to your dog. Take time to acclimate your dog to the costume prior to the big day.