Hallowe’en Safety for your Pet
Hallowe’en can be a fun and happy time for kids and pets alike. Here at Lonsdale Grove we wanted to draw your attention to some Hallowe’en safety tips to keep your furry family members safe and happy, and avoid a scare during the spookiest night of the year!
Kids costumes can have strings and plastic parts that curious dogs and cats will chew or swallow. Kids will be happier without a chewed costume, and pets will be safer if costumes are kept out of their reach. There are many cute Hallowe’en costumes for pets. Be sure if you are going to dress up your furry friend that your pet likes to wear clothing. Some pets love coats, hats and boots of various sorts, while others can’t stand to wear anything other than their natural coat. Dressing up a dog or cat that doesn’t enjoy it can cause a great deal of stress, or a struggle and fight to get out of it.
If your furry one does enjoy dress-up, be sure to choose a quality costume that is designed as pet safe. Avoid costumes with parts that can easily be chewed off, and those that are too constricting or can be caught on trees, fences, etc. Never dress a dog or cat in a costume that is tight around the neck, head, or body, or prevents easy breathing, or full sight lines. A dog or cat that can’t see properly can easily be injured by trips, falls and cars. And never leave a costume on a pet unattended.
Treats: no Tricks:
Hallowe’en candy and treats can be fun for children and adults alike, but that tricky treat can become a danger if left in the reach of furry paws. Cats, and dogs especially, love to eat anything that they can get their mouth around. And just like people, most pets love the taste of sweets and will overindulge if given the chance. Many treats or their packaging can quickly become choking hazards to cats and dogs. Dogs especially should never eat chocolate. Dark chocolate in particular can be quite toxic to our kids of canine variety. Xylitol is a common artificial sweetener in candies that can be harmful to pets, too. So keep that bowl of treats for the trick or treaters at your door well away from the tricky treaters on your floor. Instead, stock up on some healthy pet treats, or try your hand at baking your own in Hallowe’en shapes! Remember, only a few treats at a time for any of your little goblins, furry or otherwise, to avoid upset tummies.
Devilish Decoration dangers:
Jack-o’-lanterns are a fun and festive way to celebrate All Hallows Eve, but burning candles can be a danger to our pets. They pose the risk of burnt paws or mouths, and if knocked over can quickly cause a fire. LED lights are a safer choice for everyone. Pets have been known to gnaw on Jack-o’-lanterns, or eat the pumpkin guts you remove before carving. Fortunately pumpkin is not harmful to dogs or cats, and a little cooked pumpkin puree and rice can be used to help calm an upset tummy. However excessive amounts of pumpkin or pumpkin innards can do the opposite and give a bit of an upset stomach so it is best to keep your pumpkin out of reach of your pet. Other decorations such as fake spider webs and rubber spiders, bats and ghosts can be chewed and eaten. More dangerous are the electrical cords attached to animated decorations and Hallowe’en lights. Be sure to keep cords out of reach. And even for cords out of easy reach, we recommend wiping them with non-toxic dish soap or a bitter no chew product designed for cats and dogs, to further lower the risk of cuts, burns and electrocutions.
Black cats and werewolves belong indoors:
The days before, and especially Hallowe’en night itself results in a lot more activity in neighbourhoods, including car traffic. For your pet’s safety keep even cats comfortable with being outdoors safely inside. There can be increased animal cruelty incidents, especially towards black cats around Hallowe’en. Some shelters won’t adopt black cats around this time of year for their safety. It is safest for everyone to keep your pets inside. If you are taking your dressed up doggy ghoul out with your trick or treating, be sure to have a quality leash and keep them close and highly visible. An LED light on the collar is a great idea. Never take a dog out that is easily frightened. There are many strange people, dressed in frightening ways, and many unusual sights and sounds on Hallowe’en night to upset a nervous dog.
Ghouls at the door can be frightening indeed:
Door bells and visitors at the door can be very stressful to family pets. Especially strangers, dressed in unusual or frightening costumes and making scary sounds can be frightening to animals. It can be a highly stressful experience for all household pets. Also some pets will take the opportunity of frequently opening doors to make an escape. Keep household pets safely in a quiet and comfortable part of the house with no access to front door when trick or treaters are visiting. A great idea is to stay outside the door if the weather is warm, or stay by the door, at the ready to greet trick or treaters as they walk up. This will avoid repeated door bell rings and knocks on the door that can be quite upsetting to your furry ones.
The ASPCA has more Hallowe’en tips for your pets here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/halloween-safety-tips. With a little planning the whole family can have a happy and SAFE Hallowe’en.