Is your favorite canine sporting a pet-sized superhero cape this year? And what about your precious feline—is she ready to meow-roar in her new identity as a lion? Even the bravest of pets will need some protection from the occasional hazards of Halloween. Here are several tips for keeping pets safe during this happy (and just-a-little haunted) time of year.
1. If your pet will be wearing a costume this year, test it on him ahead of time. Look for signs of discomfort or constriction. Make sure your pet can move freely, and check that his costume won’t cause him to stumble. Even that Taco Cat costume isn’t worth it if Whiskers feels miserable.
2. Reconsider a mask—your pet’s adorable face will get plenty of attention on its own! Common sense dictates that a pet should be able to breathe, bark, or meow normally.
3. Avoid pet costumes with small parts that could be chewed off or any accessories that would present a choking hazard.
4. Keep Fido in mind, and opt for LED candles instead of real ones. You can get the same spooky effect with flameless candles, and you won’t have to worry about injury or damage due to a fire.
5. Let your pet play with his own toys, and keep him away from decorations like fake cobwebs, light strands, plastic spiders, and strings.
6. Make sure your pet’s identification tags and microchip information are up to date.
7. Leave candy duty to the adults. Even though you might like to have your furry pal at your side, it’s a good idea to keep your pet away from the front door (especially if there’s a chance he’ll become territorial or frightened and run outdoors).
8. If that sweet face seems to say “trick or treat,” let him have a pet-safe treat, as long as it isn’t out of your loot. Items on the no-list include raisins, chocolate/candy, and treats with artificial sweeteners. (And keep those candy wrappers away too.) Before Fright Night, check out these dangerous foods for dogs at Halloween, compiled by PetMD.