For many of us, Halloween can be a holiday filled with candy, costumes and ghostly fun. But our furry friends may find the day a little spooky. It’s important to keep your pets safe no matter how you plan to celebrate this year. Whether you’re expecting trick-or-treaters or planning to spooky movie marathon at home, Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh recommends these simple precautions to make sure you don’t have any real scares.
Whether you’ve stocked up on goodies for the return of trick-or-treaters, or picked up a few Halloween treats to enjoy yourself, make sure you keep all Halloween candy out of reach. Chief Veterinary Officer at Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh, Dr. Ariella Samson advises, “Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435. They are a resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A consultation fee may apply.”
However you might be celebrating Halloween this year, you might be tempted to dress up your pet in costume for that perfect Instagram post. If you do dress- up your pet for Halloween, make sure they’re comfortable and the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. If your animal seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, remove the costume and consider letting your pet wear his or her “birthday suit” or a festive bandana instead. Also, if you’re planning to wear a costume, remember that our pets can be confused by our altered appearances when we dress up. It may take some time for them to feel comfortable.
Pumpkins and Decorations
While a carved jack-o-lantern is certainly festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk for getting burned or singed by a candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkin and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
Keep Pets Calm, Indoors and Easily Identifiable
Traditional celebrations and Halloween happening are returning to local municipalities. If you think there will be a lot of activity at your door, you may want to keep your pet in a separate room or crate, so that they don’t accidentally slip outside. Make sure that your pet is wearing an ID tag and their microchip information is up-to-date, just in case they get out