Trick or Treat? How to Spend Halloween with Your Pets
Halloween is upon us again. We all remember dressing up as kids and going around the neighborhood. Sometimes the weather was perfect and the candy was plentiful. Other times the weather was horrible and the candy pails full of raisins. Costumes were homemade or store bought. But as kids, and even as adults, the memories are fond. All the lights and costumes are exciting. And somebody jumping out and scaring everyone is exactly what Halloween is all about. Right? Maybe not for your pet. Here are some Halloween safety tips for pets.
Halloween is Scary
The costumes, noises, and people may scare your cat or dog. Just like some pets have problems with thunderstorms, some may have problems with the busyness of Halloween. This may lead to pets acting out, hiding, or running away—straight through that front door that keeps opening. The added confusion and excitement of the night won’t help you find your friend any sooner, either. One more thing to keep in mind: some people like to hurt or steal animals on Halloween, especially those black cats. If your pet doesn’t tolerate noise and people well, consider getting a special gift, like a new cat toy and soft dog bed, to occupy the trick-or-treat or party hours.
If you and your little ones are planning on hitting up the neighborhood with some trick-or-treating, maybe you want to take your dog or cat with you. Trick-or-treating with your dog is a great way for the whole group to get out. This can be exercise for the pet and maybe provide some comfort to scared kids. Your kid is dressed up, why shouldn’t your pet be? Get into the holiday with some fun pet shirts and costumes. Use reflective dog collars or LED pet harnesses so your dog or cat is easily visible and make sure the gear is tight so your friend stays by your side all night.
See a dog that your kids want to pet? Make sure to approach slowly and ask the owner first. Not all dogs are friendly. Even those that are may be spooked and dangerous on Halloween night. Review this guide from American Kennel Club.
We know you (and the kids) want to share everything with the dog and cat, but Halloween candy is one thing you shouldn’t share. Halloween candy often contains dangerous treats for your pet. Chocolate is harmful for dogs and cats. Too much can make them sick. Dark chocolates and baker’s chocolates are the most dangerous, but no amount of chocolate is safe. Keep chocolate away from dogs. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is also perilous. This lower a dog’s blood sugar and create a life-threatening situation. Raisins and alcohol round out the list of Halloween treats that can be dangerous for your pet. Check out ASPCA’s list of other foods that your pets should avoid. Best to stick to their regular food and their regular treats. Keep the human treats away from the dogs and out of reach.
Whatever you have planned for Halloween, take care of your pet. Dangers can lurk around every corner and your pet may be scared. But don’t worry, by taking some simple precautions, your pet’s world will be perfectly right tomorrow.
Written by Erin Olivera