10 Tips For Keeping Your Pet Safe This Halloween
As autumn's chill settles in, it's time to prepare for one of the most beloved and spooky holidays of the year – Halloween. While Halloween and other autumn festivities can be a thrilling time for humans, they can pose various challenges and dangers to our furry companions. To ensure your pet's safety and comfort during this season, here are some essential tips for pet owners.
1. Costume Scares
It's important to remember that our beloved furry companions, dogs and cats, might find the Halloween festivities a bit overwhelming. The sight of people donning elaborate and sometimes eerie costumes can trigger fear and anxiety in our pets, as they may not immediately recognise their owners or neighbours in these unfamiliar outfits. To ensure a stress-free Halloween for your four-legged friends, it's a good idea to walk your pets earlier in the day. This not only allows them to burn off excess energy but also reduces the likelihood of exposing them to unsettling encounters with costumed individuals later in the evening. By being considerate of your pets' sensitivities and providing them with a calm and secure environment, you can make Halloween a less frightening experience for your cherished companions.
2. Food Frights
Halloween is synonymous with sugar, but keep in mind that many sweets are toxic to pets. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can be deadly if ingested by dogs and cats. Xylitol, a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free sweets and gum, can also be extremely dangerous. Keep sweets out of reach, and remind family and friends to be cautious about leaving treats lying around.
3. Keep Decorations Pet-Friendly
Autumn decorations can add a festive touch to your home, but some can be hazardous to your pets. Beware of candles, which can be knocked over by curious paws or tails, leading to fires or burns. Fake cobwebs and small decorations can be ingested, causing digestive problems or choking hazards. Ensure all decorations are securely placed and inaccessible to your pets.
4. Quiet and Safe Space
During Halloween festivities, your home may be filled with noise, costumes, and strangers ringing the doorbell. These disruptions can be stressful for pets, causing anxiety or fear. Consider setting up a quiet, safe space where your pet can retreat to if they need a break from the chaos. Provide their favourite toys, a cosy bed, and soothing music to help them relax.
5. Door Safety
Trick-or-treaters constantly opening and closing the front door can present an escape opportunity for your pet. Keep your pet secured in a separate room or use a baby gate to prevent them from darting out. A leash or harness can also be helpful in keeping them under control when opening the door.
6. Identification is Key
With people coming and going, it's easy for a pet to slip out unnoticed. Ensure your pet's identification tags are up-to-date with your current contact information. Microchipping is an excellent additional precaution, as it can help reunite you with your furry friend if they get lost during the festivities.
7. Noise and Firework Anxiety
Fireworks are often a part of autumn celebrations. The loud bangs and bright flashes can be terrifying for many pets. If you know your pet is anxious around loud noises, consider keeping them indoors, away from the commotion. You can also consult with your veterinarian about anxiety-relieving medications and solutions.
Check out our blog on firework safety for pets here.
8. Glow Stick and Decor Dangers
Glow sticks and jewellery are popular Halloween accessories, but they contain dibutyl phthalate. This is not only toxic to most pets when ingested, but also if spilt or split open dibutyl phthalate can irritate the skin or eyes of your pet, particularly if they get it on their paws and continue to groom themselves.
Keep these items out of your pet's reach, and dispose of them properly to prevent accidental ingestion. Additionally, if you use glow-in-the-dark decorations, make sure they are securely fastened and not easily chewed on.
9. Treats for Your Pet
While your pet can't indulge in human candy, you can still make autumn special for them with pet-friendly treats. Consider giving them small, safe treats or a new toy to enjoy while you're busy with Halloween activities.
10. Be Wary of Pumpkins
Although pumpkins are non-toxic to pets, rotten pumpkins can lead to digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Curious pets can also be susceptible to dangerous intestinal blockage if they swallow a large piece of pumpkin, seeds or the stem.
In conclusion, Halloween and other autumn festivities can be a joyous time for families, including our beloved pets. By taking precautions and following these tips, you can ensure that your furry companions remain safe, comfortable, and happy during this enchanting season. Let's make this autumn a memorable and safe one for both humans and their four-legged friends!