Halloween Safety- 5 Tips & Tricks to keep your pet safe this Hallows-eve!
While Halloween may look a little different this year, dangers to your pets are still alive and well. The tastiest and spookiest of nights can become dreadful if your pet gets sick, scared, or runs away. By following a few simple recommendations, you can keep your pup happy, healthy, and out of the vet office!
- Keep the candy for the kiddos!
- Costume Caution!
- Beware of Jack-O-Laterns and décor.
- Make sure your pet has a safe space to retreat to.
- Consider leaving your pets at home.
When trick-er-treaters are picking their favorite candies, be sure to keep your pup away from the jar! Common candies and treats contain ingredients that are toxic to pets. Chocolate, naturally containing two substances called caffeine and theobromine, can lead to stomach upset, increased heart rates, and in severe cases neurologic signs like tremors and seizures. Sugar-free candies can contain a substance called xylitol, causing drops in pets’ blood sugar that can be extremely severe and requires hospitalization. Consumption of other treats, including their casings and wrappers, can cause gastrointestinal upset leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
Vet Tip- Keep a jar of dog treats by the door and give your pet a goodie while tending to the treaters. This allows for distraction and positive reinforcement of the desired behaviors.
2. Costume Cautions!
While your pup may look as cute, sometimes even cuter, than the trick-er-treaters in their costumes, be sure the Instagramable look doesn’t cause your pup stress. Some outfits are tight and constricting, while others may be out right dangerous. Be sure that your pet feels comfortable with the outfit, and if not, take it off. They should have full range of motion of all their limbs, be able to breath, and see well. Try it on before going out for the night and make sure there are no hanging pieces that can get caught or be hazardous.
Vet Tip- Never use rubber bands or similar elastics on your pet if not attached to a fabric or item that is visible. Too often we forget to take them off, which can lead to constriction of the underlying skin and long-term damage if not addressed quickly.
3. Beware of the Jack-O-Laterns!
Did you spend so much time carving your pumpkin to then have Fluffy take a bite? Be sure to keep pets from pumpkins, and other festive decorations. While most edible decorations tend to not be toxic, items inside, including cords and battery powdered lights can be. Avoid the vet bill and tummy aches and keep your pets close when walking by the décor.
Vet Tip- While most people think pumpkin is good for upset stomachs in pets, canned pumpkin contains very little fiber. If interested in some nutritional support, talk to your vet about some good fiber options. And, ALWAYS AVOID canned pumpkin pie mix (unless your looking for some fun diarrhea)!
4. Relaxation Station
Constant commotion inside and outside the home can cause your pet to be confused and stressed. Give them an option to stay in their safe space, or a secure room, along with items to keep them engaged, calm, and entertained. Frozen enrichment toys and puzzle feeders are great options to keep them focused on the food and not the front door. Calming pheromones like Adaptil (DAP) can keep the energy in the room calm and relaxed. Above all else, avoid punishment for being vocal or stressed. Your pet doesn’t know its Halloween, all they see are Dinosaurs and Dracula’s at the front door.
Vet Tip- Keep a frozen enrichment toy in the fridge at all times to be ready for whatever situation may arise.
5. Consider, leaving your pets at home!
The night of Halloween can be stressful and strange for even the most acclimated of pets. We can see pets get frustrated if wearing a costume they’re not use to and weary if coming in contact with shapes or sounds they’ve never seen. While you may not want them to miss out, sometimes it is best to leave Fluffy at home.