We want to help keep your pets safe this Halloween
As Halloween creeps up on us next week, FCVC believes that it is important to be a responsible pet owner. Here are a few important tips, from our friends at the ASPCA.
Halloween can be the spookiest night of the year, but keeping pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky. The ASPCA recommends taking these simple, common sense precautions to keep your pet happy and healthy all the way to November 1.
Stash the Treats
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy or Fluffy – That’s Tip #1 to keep your pets safe this Halloween. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. 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 a pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach
Tip #2 to keep your pets safe this Halloween – While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
Be Careful with Costumes
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. Tip #3 to keep your pet safe this Halloween – The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put the dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up Fido or KitKat for Halloween, make sure 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. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
Be sure to have the pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting them wear their “birthday suit” or don a festive bandana instead.
Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
While COVID-19 will certainly change some Halloween proceedings this year, it usually brings a flurry of activity. With all the costumes, friends can look like strangers, which can often be scary and stressful for pets. Tip #4 to keep your pet safe this Halloween – all but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the activities during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your pet it wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.
Protect Your Black Cat
Our Tip #5 to keep your pets safe this HalIoween – if you have a black cat, it might be good to keep them indoors. Not everyone appreciates your black furry feline the way you do. Some uninformed individuals might actually try to do them harm. Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. Make sure your black cats are safely housed indoors around Halloween.
FCVC vets and staff know how much fun humans think Halloween festivities can be, but this may not be the same feeling for your animals. All the unfamiliar activity can induce stress on your animals. As the pet parent, you know your canine or feline best. If they want to hide, let them – try not to force them into uncomfortable surroundings. By using these simple tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween, we know that everyone will have had an enjoyable time!
Related articles you may find interesting – Fall Toxic Pet Dangers to Watch Out For and Pet Dogs Die After Eating Toxic Mushrooms in Own Yard
Attribution – from our friends at the ASPCA
Photo – david-menidrey-417820-unsplash, hannah-troupe-349131-unsplash