For us humans, Halloween can certainly be a fun and festive time of the year. Unfortunately for our pets, though, it might pose extra risks thanks to tricky costumes, an abundance of treats, and all those spooky Halloween decorations.
Pet owners need to be overly cautious this time of year to keep beloved pets safe. Here are a few tips to keep your furry friends happy and healthy during the Halloween season.
Halloween brings lots of fun decorations, but these can be dangerous to pets. Some decorations, such as certain plants or moldy carved pumpkins, can be toxic to pets or cause gastrointestinal upset. Carved pumpkins with lit candles can also become a hazard for curious pets, who risk burning themselves or causing a fire.
Even though they’re obviously safer than open flames, electric and battery-operated decorations should also be kept away from pets. All those lights and moving parts can be intriguing to your pet, and unfortunately they tend to explore with their mouths, noses, and claws. Chewing on electrical cords can cause electrical shock, while chewing on batteries can cause chemical burns.
Pets should never be left outside during Halloween in the event they get spooked by costumes and run away or become the unfortunate target of mean pranksters. During trick-or-treating hours, keep your pet in a separate room away from the front door to prevent them from darting out when you open it.
If your pet gets especially stressed out by all the visitors at the door, make sure you give them a safe, cozy retreat. You can cover their crate with a sheet or blanket, or create another safe space in a corner or bathroom using their bed, blanket, favorite toys, or other comforting objects.
Lots of popular Halloween treats are toxic to our pets, so it’s best if you keep them completely out of reach. All forms of chocolate can be dangerous, or even lethal, to our cats and dogs. Chocolate poisoning can cause diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and seizures.
It isn’t just the chocolate treats that pose a risk, either. An artificial sweetener called xylitol is found in a lot of candies and gum, and it can be poisonous to dogs. Just a small amount of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, loss of coordination, seizures, and even liver failure.