Preventing a Bittersweet Trick-or-Treat: The Best in Halloween Pet Safety

Dog in disguise for HalloweenIf you’re anything like us, you’ve been ready for Halloween for weeks now. Candy bowl full? Check! Pumpkins carved? Oh, yes! Costumes ready? You bet!

As a responsible pet owner, you’ll want to review some Halloween pet safety tips as well. Whether he or she embraces the chaos or you’re expecting a nervous bundle of fur, keeping your pet safe and comfortable is essential.

Being Out There

We had a great time sponsoring the Dogtoberfest this year. Planning on going to another event like Howl-O-Ween Pet Festival or Barktoberfest? Both promise lots of fun, but only if your pet is accustomed to crowds, loud noises, and other animals. If you don’t think this will go over well, just skip these events for now and work on training for future opportunities.  

Getting Into Character

If your pet will be donning a costume this Halloween, we recommend approaching this task with a healthy dose of caution. Proper Halloween pet safety includes the following tips:

  • Choose a costume that allows for normal movements, easy respiration, and unrestricted vision. Keep a close eye on your pet, as he or she may try to shimmy out of the costume, cutting off vision or breathing.
  • To prevent entanglement, cut off any loose or dangling elements such as ribbons, bows, or bells.
  • Keep your pet’s collar and ID tags outside the costume. For added insurance, make sure your pet’s microchip is up to date as well.

Goodies Galore

While treats are central to Halloween, they should never be given to your pet. Be sure to store your candy bowl or treat bag out of reach since chocolate, Xylitol, and candies with raisins are extremely toxic to pets.

Treat wrappers are also hazardous. Responsible for painful gastrointestinal obstructions, plastic or metallic wrappers should never be left out for your pet to accidentally ingest. Likewise, lollipop and candied apple sticks can lead to intestinal ruptures requiring emergency care, ultrasound, or surgery.

Tips for Halloween Pet Safety

Check out these other basic tips to keep your pet safe and sound:

  • Restrict your pet’s access to the outdoors in the hours before dark on the nights leading up to (and including) Halloween.
  • Keep decorative light strings off the floor.
  • Jack-o’-lanterns are best kept on the front porch and not displayed indoors.
  • Glow sticks and glow jewelry can be very dangerous to pets; always keep them out of reach.
  • While your pet may enjoy the constant ringing of the bell, an open door can be an escape risk for a pet who can’t resist bolting.
  • Turn a back room into a quiet retreat for your pet, complete with comfy bedding, soothing music, food, water, and favorite toys.

Please contact our team if we can help you address any other concerns about Halloween pet safety. From all of us at Heart of Texas Veterinary Specialty Center, we wish you and your pet a happy and safe Halloween!