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5 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe at Halloween

Article by
Emily McCullor

Monday, Oct 30

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Halloween is a fun and festive time to celebrate each year — getting dressed up in costumes to go trick-or-treating, or preparing to treat the neighborhood kids. We are often inclined to include our four-legged family members in the holiday festivities, but it is important to do so safely. Follow these 5 tips to make sure your pet has a safe, enjoyable Halloween!

1. Stash the Treats Out of Reach

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Halloween candy is oh so good - but it is oh so bad for your pets. Ingredients such as chocolate (particularly dark or baking chocolate) and xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can be toxic to dogs. It is best to stash your sweet loot up high, out of reach of sneaky paws. In the event that your pet would ingest candy, contact your vet immediately or go to the Pet Emergency Center. 

2. Costumes - Do or Don’t?

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There is no argument on how cute pet costumes are, but the most important thing to consider when deciding whether or not to dress up your pet is their comfort.

If your pet seems to enjoy dressing up in costume - great! Inspect the costume thoroughly to make sure there are no loose pieces that could pose potential harm to your pet. It is also imperative to make sure the costume fits your pet properly, giving them enough room to move comfortably, and be properly restrained.

Costumes are not for all pets. If your pet doesn’t seem thrilled about a costume, it’s best to pass on dressing up and maybe opt for a festive bandana instead. Dressing a pet in costume when they clearly aren’t enjoying it can cause undue stress to your pet.

3. Be Mindful of Your Decor

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Keep your pets in mind when choosing your fall and Halloween decor. Keep any electrical wires out of pets’ reach. Never leave a lit pumpkin or candle where your pet can get to it. Decorations that may contain small pieces that could pose a choking hazard should also be displayed out of your pet’s reach.

While decorations such as pumpkins and corn are not toxic to pets, chewing on them could potentially cause unnecessary stomach upset.

4. Trick-or-Treating

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Visitors to your home and a ringing doorbell can quickly send your pets into a frenzy of excitement and anxiety. While treating the neighborhood kids, consider keeping your pet comfortable in a separate room, away from the door. This will also help prevent your dog from making a sudden dash out the front door. If your dog is not a fan of the doorbell, it never hurts to greet your trick-or-treaters outside your home.

If you are opting to take your dog trick-or-treating with you, make sure that they are wearing current identification and consider a reflective collar/leash. Be sure that your pet is properly restrained. If your dog shows any signs of anxiety, it may be best to leave them home.

5. Have Your ID up to date.

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Take the time to update your pet’s ID tag, renew your dog license, or get your pet microchipped, and make sure they are wearing their identification. In the event that your pet would dash out the door, having proper and current identification will help get your pet home safely.

Bringing your pets inside during Halloween festivities will also help keep them safe.