As the calendar days creep toward Halloween, you’re making plans for the most fabulous Fright Night yet. Your favorite furry pal has surely been curious, watching you lug in oversized bags of candy and unearth spooky decorations. This holiday shouldn’t be scary for your pet, though, so take note of these Halloween pet safety tips from PetMD and the ASPCA.
Sweet Enough As Is
Your beloved pet is plenty sweet enough on his own – so keep all Halloween candy away from him. All forms of chocolate, as well as candies with artificial sweeteners, can be dangerous for pets.
Not My Style
Your pet might be a camera darling in her new costume, but her comfort should trump cuteness. Test her costume out on her before Halloween, and forgo the new threads if she seems uncomfortable or distressed. Also make sure that her costume doesn’t restrict movement or breathing. Avoid small adornments that could be chewed off and choked on.
Double, Double, Door Trouble
If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters, consider keeping your pet in a separate room away from the front door. You don’t want to stress your pet with all the commotion or give him a reason to turn territorial. You’ll also want to keep him from darting outside on what could be a chaotic night for pets.
It’s the Not-So-Great Pumpkin
Those lit jack-o’-lanterns certainly have a pretty glow, but exercise caution if you use candles. Pets could get too close and burn themselves or knock over the pumpkin display. And on the topic of pumpkins, make sure your pet doesn’t ingest them, at the risk of tummy trouble.
The Name Game
With the proper care, this should be a happy Halloween for you and your pet. To be on the safe side, however, make sure your pet has an up-to-date ID tag and/or microchip.
Winter has got to be a confusing time for pets. Their people drag full-grown trees into the living room (if they did that, they would be in doggie time-out so fast, their heads would spin). They wrap boxes in sparkly, crinkly paper, get mad at you all month when you keep unwrapping them, only to cheer when the human children unwrap them later. You can’t eat the chocolate, you can’t eat the gingerbread house, you’re whiskers-deep in white stuff anytime you go outside. What’s going on?
To be sure, wintertime is bewildering for animals, but all the do’s and don’ts are in place to keep them safe. Keep these pet safety tips from Good Housekeeping in mind:
- Recap: From the fall safety tips, continue to keep antifreeze out of your pet’s reach (even a small amount, once ingested, can be lethal). Also, don’t rely on fur alone to insulate your pet. Provide adequate shelter and break the ice in bowls and troughs if the water has frozen over.
- Paws Off: Yummy (looking) things abound indoors. But holly leaves and berries are toxic, tinsel can create intestinal blockages, and heating pad cords can electrocute. Place your decorations strategically and select mattress or pet bed pads that are pet-proof.
- What’s This?: The funny smells and strange whirrings emitted from candles and space heaters might tempt a curious pet. If they should knock them over, a fire could start. Don’t leave either out in the open.
- Flashy: Winter months mean darker days. Fasten a reflective collar around your pet’s neck and up its visibility to prevent accidents when it wanders outside.
- Don’t Start that Car: At least not without honking the horn or banging on the hood first. Animals (cats especially) are in the bad habit of snuggling up to the car engine on cold nights.
- Watch for Ice: Older pets could fracture bones if they stumble upon particularly icy patches. Also, a pond or lake might look frozen solid, but you shouldn’t let even the lightest pet wander out past the bank. Always supervise your pets when they are outdoors.
Your pets—be they canine, feline, or chinchilla—may not understand all your weird rules, but they are paramount to a safe and enjoyable winter. May your holidays be happy and tinsel-free!
How will your pet be celebrating Halloween? Will she be swaddled in a spooky costume, leering through the window at passing trick-or-treaters? Or will he be inching closer to you during a horror movie marathon? Keep some safety tips from Halo Pets in mind, and you can make this holiday more delightful and way less frightful!
1. Candy is the best part of Halloween—for people! Chocolate is poisonous to pets, and although an emergency trip to the vet would certainly be scary, it wouldn’t be fun. Bowls of candy—and decorations, for that matter—should always be kept out of reach. Homemade treats are a healthier way to get your pet in on the festivities!
2. The sight of your cat miserably dragging a Puss in Boots cape along behind him is likely to crush anyone’s Halloween spirit. Don’t dress him up if he seems uncomfortable. Also, be wary of any small costume accents a pet might swallow. Capes, to prevent strangling, should be avoided too. In other words: make it cute, keep it safe!
3. Keep your pet confined behind a pet gate if trick-or-treaters will be frequenting your front door. Picture total strangers with freakish masks entering your home unannounced, accosting your loved ones for candy. Anyone would get a little aggressive! Confining your pet will also prevent her from slipping outdoors while you are distracted.
4. All animals—especially black cats—should be prevented from roaming freely outside during October. A little Halloween mayhem is not uncommon, but some people take it too far and injure animals for fun. Protect them by restricting them to the yard or indoors.
A little precaution goes a long way to ensuring your Halloween is scary for all the right reasons. What will your pet be for Halloween? Do you have any safety tips you had to learn the hard way?