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Halloween: Pet safety tips for a perfect Halloween night

german shepherd puppy wearing witch hat and sitting on grass next to plastic jack o lantern advice
© Shutterstock

For many, Halloween is the greatest night of the year! We get to dress up, see friends, and eat candy - what could be better? But for our pets, Halloween can be a stressful holiday.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 17/10/2020, 17:00

As responsible pet owners, it is our job to keep our pets safe and happy in all situations, including holidays and special events.

Halloween is one of those times! And with it coming up so soon, it’s time to get prepared. Follow these 5 top tips to make sure your pet makes the most of Halloween night!

1. Keep them away from the front door

While your pets might be friendly, it can be stressful to see so many strangers showing up in scary costumes all night. Stress can cause a fight or flight reaction, and with an open door, this can lead to disaster if your pet decides to bolt. As a precaution, keep your pet in a separate room during peak trick or treating hours. When you’re not at the front door, your pet will appreciate your company.

2. Dress them up in pet costumes only if they like it

With so many pet Halloween costumes out there, it can be very tempting to purchase one for your furry friend. But remember, not all pets enjoy being dressed up. If you suspect your pet feels uncomfortable wearing a costume, opt for a decorative collar or even their natural ‘birthday suit’ instead! If you are absolutely sure your pet enjoys wearing clothes, then simply make sure the costume you purchase does not obstruct your pets movement, vision, or ability to breathe and has no dangling or easily chewed off parts to it. In addition, purchase the costume well enough in advance so that you can habituate your pet to it before the big night.

3. Watch out for fires and choking hazards

If you like to decorate your home for Halloween, then you may have some scary Jack-o-lanterns in your home. While this makes for a spooky ambiance, remember that lit pumpkins are fire hazards, particularly when you have curious pets around! Additionally, Halloween decorations can cause choking hazards and even electric shocks if they are connected to electrical cords. Never leave your pet alone in a room full of decorations. Ideally, keep the decorations to the front of the house or some place your pet is not likely to ever be in unsupervised.

4. Do some poison control

It is great fun to distribute candy and chocolate to trick or treaters, but the reality of it is that both of these treats can be highly toxic for dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine, and sugar free candy contains xylitol, both of which can cause serious stomach upsets and even be fatal if ingested in large amounts. Just to be safe, make sure all of your Halloween treats are well out of reach from your pet.

Learn more about the dangers of chocolate for pets

5. Ensure they have proper identification

As a preventative safety measure ahead of any big event, it is recommended that you double check your pet’s identification before Halloween night. If your pet does decide to dash through an open door, they will be more likely to be returned to you if they are microchipped and have a tag on their collar. If your pet’s identification is not up-to-date, make sure you make the necessary arrangements prior to the 31st!

Now all that’s left to do is to enjoy the spooky season! Happy Halloween!