Halloween is an amazing time of the year, but it can be a bit scary for your pets. Lots of noises, people in giant, weird looking costumes, and a constant ringing of the doorbell. I've put together some helpful tips to keep your pet safe this year. Some of them may be obvious, but sometimes we forget simple things when there is a lot going on!
1. Keep Harmful Treats Away from Your Pets
Many treats contain chocolate, and while you may think your pet won't touch them... we all know chances are he will. Keep treats up high and completely out of reach from your cats and dogs. Another ingredient to watch out for is xylitol, which is a sugar substitute found in some candies. It's not super common, but you never know. Check for it on anything labelled as "sugar-free." It can be extremely toxic to your dog.
2. Dispose of Candy Wrappers Immediately
It's not just the treats themselves that are harmful - candy wrappers can lead to serious digestive problems if eaten by a cat or dog. We all know that person in your household who goes nuts for the Halloween candy, eats 20 pieces of it, and loses control of the wrappers. And if you're trying to think of who that person is and can't, then it's you. But in all seriousness, make sure you immediately toss the wrappers into a garbage can that is not accessible to your pet. This will prevent unnecessary harm to your pet and avoid a very large vet bill.
3. Be Mindful of Costumes
Make sure that your dog's costume doesn't contain any bells or pieces that are potential choking hazards. You also want to look out for any excess material that could result in choking or tripping. Along with physical hazards, make sure your pet is emotionally okay with being dressed up! In an age of "nervous" dogs (click here if you don't know what I'm talking about -it's the cutest thing ever) we need to be mindful of what our pets are okay with, and what makes them anxious. Yes, it's very fun for us to dress them up as a hot dog, but this results in pointing and laughing and a general sense of embarrassment. Some dogs are completely fine in costume, but others would prefer to keep their usual attire of nothingness and watch from afar. If you put a costume on your cat or dog and they keep their head down, put their tail between their legs, or start shaking... it may not be for them.
4. Block off Your Front Door
If you plan to give candy out from your home, make sure your pets are in a designated area, or block off your entranceway with gates. Dogs and cats are notorious for running out the front door, especially on such a chaotic night. Another option is to sit on your porch to give out the candy. You can put your pups on a leash if you think they will be okay with it, or leave them inside.
5. Make Sure Your Pet is Wearing All of Their Tags
If you normally take off your pet's collar or tags, make sure you put them back on well before Halloween night. Just in case your pet slips out the door, you want to make sure they are easily identifiable once found. This is also crucial if you plan to have your dog walk around with you on Halloween. You never know what may spook them, and you want to be sure they are returned to you as soon as possible.
I hope these tips help you and your pets this Halloween season. I created a checklist that you can save and print, and I will include it below. What is your pet dressing up as this year? Let me know in the comments! I'd also love to see some pics of your pets dressed up. If you're in the Windsor area, come see me at The Hungry Pooch on Halloween from 5:00-7:30pm. Fluff Pet Care is one of the partners for their Halloween event, and I'll have little goodie bags for you guys! I'm also raffling off a $50 gift certificate for my Etsy shop. Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated about this event, and other upcoming shows I will be doing! I work really hard to make the emails cute, and I'd really appreciate it if you signed up :)