Halloween Pet Safety
As exciting as Halloween is for children, the same may not be said for our pets. In fact, Halloween can be an extremely stressful time for dogs and cats. The commotion of strangers ringing your doorbell, repeatedly knocking on the door and shouting “Trick or Treat” can be a confusing time for our pets.
Imagine what’s going through your dog and cat’s mind on Halloween evening? Groups of excited costumed people are yelling at your door standing with bags wide open, only to leave and then have it repeated over and over again!
Now I’m not suggesting we lock our doors and turn off the lights ( or am I?) on Halloween evening, but for the sake of our pets we must take precautions to ensure their safety.
Keeping our pets safe and calm(er) on Halloween
Ensure your dog or cat cannot slip out the door when greeting trick or treaters. It can happen in the blink of an eye!
Keep pets in a room where they feel safe, comfortable, and are unable to access an open door. Leave a collar or harness on your dog and cat and ensure they are wearing up to date identification with your contact information.
Consider keeping your outdoor cat in for the evening. Black cats in particular have been known to be at risk of injury from cruel pranksters on Halloween.
Halloween food safety for pets
The candy, the chocolate, the chips and gum, the list of Halloween treats are endless! These treats, although yummy for children and adults alike, can be your pet’s worst nightmare!
Dog owners have always been made aware of the dangers of chocolate and how it can cause symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, even seizures, but now we must also be made aware of an ingredient called Xylitol. Xylitol can be found in many products, including, but not limited to, gum, candies, even some peanut butters. It only takes a small amount of Xylitol to be ingested by our dog to cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, loss of coordination, seizures, even death. Make sure to read all ingredient labels, but most importantly, keep the treats up and out of our pet’s reach.
In case of a pet health emergency, always have your vet’s contact information on hand, or that of the nearest Emergency Veterinarian Clinic.
For dogs and cats that are truly stressed by the activities of Halloween evening, the only answer may be to turn off your lights and close the door. Still want to participate in Halloween and treat those cute little trick or treaters? Enlist the help of a neighbour by giving them your Halloween treats and having them fill those treat bags on your behalf.
Let’s have a fun-filled, spooktacular Halloween, but most importantly, let’s make it a safe one for our pets!