Halloween is an exciting night for everyone, costumes and candy and celebration. Here are a few tips for making sure your pet has a fun and safe night of spooks as well.
Candy is not your dog’s best friend: Relating back to an earlier blog, “Common Toxic House-Hold Items”, recall that chocolate is toxic to dogs. While you are bringing in the passels of sweet treats, remember to not share with your pets and keep them out of reach. The processed sugars found in candy come with a list of health implications should they be consumed by our pets. Generalized inflammation, metabolic issues, agitation, and urinary issues may be noted. Remember that chocolate is completely off limits as it is toxic to animals. Sugar-free treats come with their own health risks as well, many containing xylitol, a sugar alternative that may be fatal to pets.
Conscious Costumes: What is more fun than playing dress-up with our furry friends? Just remember to be smart about how you are dressing them up. Make sure your pet is comfortable, always keep them supervised, and make sure they are not panicked or scared.
- Does your pet like being dressed up?
- Is there anything that could be a choking hazard?
- Is there anything sharp that could cause injury?
- Are they able to move freely and comfortably?
- Can they still hear and see?
Pranks and Pranksters: Halloween can be a dangerous time for our fuzzy family with all of the pranksters. If your pet is outside with you, make sure they are well supervised, comfortable, and safely restrained. We all know that pranks are a beloved part of the Halloween tradition, but make sure your pet is in a safe place where they are unlikely to be startled or scared by any loud noises, crazy costumes, or gregarious people. If your pet isn’t comfortable with these things, it is best to leave them at home or in a safe quiet room of your house where they can be safe and cozy without all of the excitement.
Watch out for Doors: If your pet is prone to bolting or is a known escape artist, make sure they are safely away from the door while you are opening and closing it for any trick-or-treaters. It is also a good idea to make sure your pet has their ID tag on, or a microchip with updated contact information, just in case they are to slip out.
Lights Out: Candles are a staple for Halloween be it mood lighting, scent, or to light up the jack-o-lanterns. Cats especially are drawn to light and can easily be burned in an attempt to catch a flame. Candles can be knocked over and pose a serious safety risk, especially if it happens unknowingly. Make sure to put out any candles if you are not going to be supervising them, or move your pets to a safe space where they cannot get to the candles.
Added Support: If you have a nervous pet that may experience elevated anxiety during the excitement of Halloween, remember your supportive options for de-stressing.
- Feliway/Adaptil pheromones
- Natural remedies
- Prescription medications
If you suspect your pet is going to have a difficult time over the holidays, reach out to your veterinarian to see what the best option is for them.
Know your Numbers: Make sure you are aware of local options that can help you in case of an emergency, including your primary veterinarian.
- ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center- 1-888-426-4435
- Bend Veterinary Specialty and Emergency- 541-385-9110
- Veterinary Referral and Emergency- 541-210-9200
- Humane Society Central Oregon- 541-382-3537
- Brightside Humane Society- 541-923-0882
Halloween is time for celebration, just make sure your pets have a good time or make sure they are in a safe space where they don’t have to engage. Keep your goodies and candles out of reach, and make sure your pet is happy if you choose to include them in the festivities. Most importantly, keep your pet in mind, be safe, be smart, and have fun!
Written by Harriet Burquist