Trick or treating can be a little tricky for pets, with dangers cropping up in unexpected ways. However, savvy pet owners can protect their pets with a few simple steps. Here are seven simple steps for keeping Halloween hazard-free for cats, dogs, ferrets and other house pets.
Confine pets during trick-or-treating hours.
Tricksters may lurk on Halloween, seeking opportunity to practice their pranks. Toilet-papering trees, smashing pumpkins and pestering pets are perennial Halloween activities for goblin wannabees.
By keeping family pets confined indoors during trick-or-treating hours, animal lovers can ensure that their own furry friends do not become quarry to mischief makers on Halloween.
Pets accompanying their owners for trick-or-treating should be securely leashed – for their own safety and that of those they may encounter. Even familiar friends may seem unfamiliar to a pet, if these folks are costumed.
Keep Halloween candy away from pets.
Chocolate, nuts, taffies and other Halloween candies can be poisonous for pets. Even candy wrappings may cause choking or digestive distress in dogs, cats or other animals.
Pet owners do well to keep Halloween candy and treats out of pets’ reach.
Of course, if a pet does manage to consume Halloween candy, a call to the veterinarian, local animal hospital or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-42604435) is warranted.
Display pumpkins and candles out of pets’ reach.
Pets should be monitored around Halloween decorations.
Jack-o-lanterns are intriguing to pets, those flickering candles may taunt and tempt cats or dogs to play. However, these Halloween displays pose definite fire and burn hazards.
Also, cornstalks, gourds, Indian corn, mums, plastic Halloween figurines, silk and dried flowers and other seasonal decorations may cause choking or illness to pets, if ingested.
Store Halloween display electrical cords securely.
Colored lights, plug-in pumpkins and other electrical decorations can also be dangerous, if pets chew or play with cords. Cords must be tethered neatly out of reach.
Keep glow accessories away from pets
Glow bracelets, necklaces, sticks, wands are popular on Halloween. In addition, these light-up accessories can make trick or treaters more visible to motorists, adding to youngsters’ safety after dark.
At the same time, though, these accessories contain chemicals that are toxic to pets, so animals must not be allowed to chew on them.
Use pet-friendly costumes only.
Increasingly, pet owners are dressing up their cats, dogs and other pets for Halloween. Of course, animals’ costumes need to be comfortable, fire-retardant and non-restrictive. Safe costumes will also be free of choking hazards and not block pets’ vision or breathing in any way.
Tag pets with current identification.
As doorbells ring and pet owners greet countless trick or treaters on Halloween, even the most timid house pets may slip outdoors unexpectedly. Cats, dogs and other pets should wear collars with identification tags, particularly if they are allowed the run of the house on Halloween.
Many pet owners also identify their animals with microchips or tattoos, which may be read by any veterinarian. Accurate identification can make retrieval of a lost pet much simpler and faster.
Pet safety can make Halloween more fun for everyone.