Tricks to Keep your Pet Safe This Halloween
By Dr. Paige Roberts, Veterinarian
Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner! The Halloween season is a time of spooky stories, fun costumes, and sweet treats; it also comes with a few unique hazards for our furry friends. Here are a few things you can do to keep your pet safe so your family can fully enjoy the fall festivities and avoid an unexpected trip to the emergency vet.
Our dogs (and cats!) have a strong sense of smell and will appreciate the sweet aroma that accompanies many of our holiday snacks. Unfortunately, this also attracts them to snacks they should not ingest. Chocolate (especially dark chocolate) and sugar-free candies are toxic to dogs and cats, but any candy or snack intended for human consumption can cause an upset stomach in our pets. Keep the candy bowls, baked goods, and treats the kids bring home from trick-or-treating in a safe place, out of reach of your pets.
Carved pumpkins with lit candles create a festive vibe but can be knocked over by exuberant or curious dogs, creating a fire hazard. Cats are prone to burns from lit candles or spilled wax. Additionally, while decorative corn and pumpkins are not toxic to our pets, they can cause significant gastrointestinal upset if ingested.
Halloween costumes can be fun for humans and for pets! When choosing whether to dress up your pet, it is best to keep a few things in mind. Some pets become stressed by clothing, especially if it limits normal movements and daily habits. Make sure the costume fits appropriately; it should allow the pet to breathe, walk, eat, drink, urinate, and defecate normally. Do not leave costumes on when your pet is not supervised or for long periods as even well-fitted costumes can irritate your furry friend’s skin.
Identification and Precautions
If you are planning to stay home to greet the trick-or-treaters and hand out candy, it is recommended to keep your pet away from the doorway or entry area. Some pets may become stressed by the frequent visitors throughout the night while others may become excited and risk running out the open door. Ensure that your pet is microchipped and/or has identification tags in case they slip out.
We hope you and your pets have a happy and safe Halloween! If you do have a pet emergency, Rocky Gorge is open for emergencies 24/7/365.