When we think of Halloween, we think of costumes, parties and candy! Most people know candy isn’t good for animals and certain types of candy can even be dangerous; however, there are other things to consider as Halloween nears.
1. Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy or keep candy where your pet may find it and help themselves. Candy that contains chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum) are particularly dangerous to animals. Keep candy is a safe place that your pets can not reach. Signs of chocolate or xylitol poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, difficulty walking or standing, depression, hyperactivity, muscle spasms or even seizures. If you suspect your animal has ingested chocolate or candy with xylitol, call your veterinarian immediately. Look for wrappers or signs of what your animal may have ingested. The earlier treatment is started, the better chance your pet has of a quick and full recovery.
2. Make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag) in case he escapes through the open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters or party guests.
3. Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets.
4. If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly, doesn’t have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Never leave your pet unsupervised while he is wearing a costume. Costumes can be stressful for many animals; only put a costume on your pet if you know they do not mind it.
5. Keep glow sticks and glow items away from your pets. The liquid in these products isn’t overly toxic; however, it can make pets salivate excessively and can cause them to act strangely.
6. Put your pet in another room or secure place during parties or trick-or-treating hours. Animals can be unpredictable with strangers, especially strangers in costumes. Masks and costumes change how people look and smell to a pet, so even familiar people may become frightening.
For pets, trick or treating and costumes can be more stressful than fun, so follow these tips to keep them safe and happy this Halloween.