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Trick or Treat? Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

Dog Pumpkin Patch

As Halloween quickly approaches, here are some important tips to keep in mind to help you and your pets have a safe and spooktacular holiday!

  1. Candy is not for pets! Most people are aware that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, can be toxic to pets. However, there is an additional ingredient called xylitol found in some candies and gum that can also cause devastating effects to your pets. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can cause deadly drops in blood sugar that may lead to weakness, disorientation, tremors, and seizures. It also can cause the destruction of liver tissue in pets. Be sure to keep the candy stash out of reach!

  2. Decorative plants can be dangerous! Many people love to make their homes festive for the season with decorative pumpkins, gourds, and corn cobs. Unfortunately, some pets may try to chew on or even swallow these items. While these plants are not specifically toxic, ingestion can cause gastrointestinal upset and even lead to obstruction if consumed in large enough quantities.

  3. Wires, cords, and candles should be kept out of reach! Curious pets may try to chew on wires and cords used for Halloween decorations. This can possibly lead to electrocution and is an obvious fire hazard. Additionally, burning candles can be knocked over or cause injury to the skin.

  4. Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification and is not left unsupervised outside! With so much activity going on in your neighborhood, your pets may have the desire to wander off and explore the new sights and sounds. Additionally, the incidence of pranks involving pets, especially black cats, left unattended outdoors is higher at Halloween. Be sure your pet has a collar with proper identification when outdoors and isn’t left unattended for long periods of time. Also, microchipping helps to reunite you and your pet if he/she happens to become lost and is taken to a shelter or clinic.5Halloween can be stressful and cause anxiety for some pets! Please remember that not all pets enjoy wearing costumes and having numerous strangers ring the doorbell. If Halloween creates anxiety for your pet, allow them to have their own space far away from the activity, such as in a basement or laundry room. Don’t force your pet to wear a costume if it clearly makes them uneasy or unhappy. For pets who don’t mind a costume, make sure it is not too constricting and doesn’t have any small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces that can be swallowed. A festive bandana may be the perfect compromise!