Halloween can be fun for everyone, but as many Northern Colorado emergency veterinary care staffers can attest, it can also present dangers for pets. One of the many benefits of being a pet parent is that you can dress up your pet in adorable or hilarious costumes for Halloween. Many pets love the holiday because it involves greeting new friends at the door all night long, and despite a few protests, they may like their Halloween costumes after all.
Every year, however, numerous pets suffer from poisoning and injuries because their parents didn’t consider a few key factors that become common near October 31st.
Keeping Your Pet Safe This Halloween
Pet safety and health experts agree on the importance of these Halloween safety tips for keeping your pet (particularly your dogs) safe this upcoming holiday:
Keep candy and decorations out of reach
Don’t let your pet keep you from celebrating the season with your decorations, but be aware that your pet could try to eat your decorations and candy. We probably don’t have you tell you to keep your candy out of reach of searching noses, but remember that the candy wrappers can be just as big of a problem as the candy inside of it. It is common that emergency vet specialists have to treat pets with obstructed bowels from eating plastic candy wrappers along with the treats themselves.
Decorations can also pose a danger. If you have electrical wires or any sharp parts involved, be sure to keep them out of the reach of your pets. The crucial thing to keep in mind regarding Halloween decorations and candy is that your pet may act differently on Halloween night than a normal night. A dog that is normally well-behaved will may be more excited and rambunctious during an evening of children stopping by for candy or adult guests arriving in interesting costumes.
Be careful when choosing pet costumes
Keep pet costumes simple and make sure they can quickly and easily be removed. The danger here is twofold. First, remember that pets don’t typically wear clothing items and these items may irritate them. Dogs will chew a strap here and there when their owners aren’t looking or rub their costume until it becomes damaged. These loose parts can then be swallowed, which may lead to a trip to the emergency vet.
Second, remember that your pet may act differently on Halloween and a costume could become a problem. Your pet’s behavior may change when their environment changes and it will be more difficult to keep track of your pet during a party or during trick-or-treating. This change in their environment along with wearing a costume can create frustration. They also can become tangled or caught on something. Keeping a close eye on your pet, especially when they are in their costume, will help you catch these behaviors quicker.
Keeping your pets calm
The Front Door
It’s wise to keep your pets out of both your front and back yards on Halloween night. Remember that Halloween is notorious for pranksters and people acting irresponsibly. Sadly, pet parents are always reminded that Halloween is a night when pets are more likely to be taken, poisoned, or harassed. Always keep your pet inside your home on Halloween night. Be sure to walk them on a leash or supervise their potty breaks.
The front door can also be a problem area for excited or stressed pets. Pets may escape, show aggression, become too excited for some people, or steal candy. Keep in mind that not everyone likes pets and may not appreciate your pup’s attention. Children don’t always understand that candy is bad for pets, that not all pets want to be touched, or that they cannot take your furry one home with them.
It’s also a good idea to keep your pets away from the busy area of your home during a Halloween party. No matter the situation, providing your pet with a safe, quiet space away from the action will help them feel more comfortable and allow you to socialize without worrying. Utilizing a crate or room and providing them with toys, treats (puzzle treats can entertain them for a long time), and music will help to distract and calm them. Remember that any tactic that you may use on Independence Day may help your pet on Halloween.