It’s a fun time of year for most, but for some pets, Halloween can be a somewhat stressful and even dangerous time! We want to make sure you’re aware of what your pets can perceive as threats or as fun that can be potentially fatal.
Fun for Fido or Fifi?
Some people think dressing up their animals in costumes is a fun way to have them celebrate. We’re even having our own client costume contest! At the same time, though, not every dog or cat enjoys being dressed up, and for some it can really be stressful. If your dog or cat isn’t completely relaxed, if he or she struggles or gives off signs of stress or reacts poorly, don’t force him or her into a costume! Likewise, make sure the costume you do use is safe for your pet, that it fits properly and doesn’t contain any parts that it may want to chew off and ingest, and that it allows for proper breathing and movement.
Chocolate and other candy is essential to celebrating the holiday, but these treats meant for human consumption are very toxic to pets. Xylitol, a commonly used sweetener, is also very toxic. It is very important to manage your environment and make sure these items are out of the reach of your pets. Reinforce the “drop it” and “leave it” cues so if your dog happens to pick up something it shouldn’t, you can use this cue to keep him out of harm’s way. If you’re out on walks, carry your own treats to persuade him to drop an object if the cue is not reliable, or even as a backup plan. It’s better to trade up for a piece of acceptable turkey treat rather than have him ingest what he shouldn’t!
Likewise, your Halloween decorations may not be just something to look at for your kitty or doggy. It may be something fun to play with but then also to chew on and perhaps swallow! Fake cobwebs and other materials should be kept out of their reach when unsupervised, and you should always make sure they are also supervised when they’re around electrical cords or lit candles in jack-o-lanterns. Remember the point of view of your pet and manage and supervise accordingly!
The constant arrival of costumed kids to get their booty of candy at your home may be a fun thing for kids and adults, but for some pets, it can be stressful. Even pets that aren’t naturally as timid may perceive these strange-looking small creatures as a threat due to their masks and costuming. The constant opening and closing of the door can also add to a flight risk for your pets. While we recommend always having tags/IDs on your pets, and having them microchipped, it may be best to keep them behind other closed doors in the home where they won’t be subject to the Halloween hoopla. Make sure it’s a comfortable space away from all the noise! Provide appropriate chew toys and scratch pads, and fresh water to ensure the enjoyment of all your furry ones.
We hope you have a happy and safe Halloween!
Owner, Delightful Doggies