Tips for Pet Owners During Halloween

October 31 is filled with fun frights for humans, but for our furry family members, it can mean a night of scary stress and Halloween hazards. To keep your pet safe, happy, and calm, follow these Halloween tips for pet owners.

Prevent Runaways

On Halloween night, you might be opening your doors to trick-or-treaters, which can present endless opportunities for your pet to dart out the door. Even if your dog or cat isn’t normally one to run, the added stress of Halloween may alter their behaviors and scare them off. To make sure your dog doesn’t get lost, follow these tips:

  • Keep your dog secured. Consider leashing your dog during trick-or-treating hours or securing them in a calm, quiet room by shutting the door or installing a room divider.
  • Keep them in their crate. If your dog is crate trained, you can send it to its cage. Move the crate to a quiet room and add blankets over the top to make it feel extra secure.
  • Update information on ID tags and microchips. If your dog still manages to escape, make sure people can help them find their way home by updating your contact information on ID tags and microchips.

Reduce Stress

Even for the most social of dogs, a parade of strangers at the door or guests at a scary costume party can be stressful. Consider these options to keep your pet cool and calm on Halloween.

  • Keep their room quiet. Try to keep your pets as far away from the festivities as possible by creating a calm, safe place for them to retreat.
  • Board your pet for the night. Avoid the stress altogether by taking your pet to their favorite pet boarding facility.
  • Talk to your vet about medication. If your dog or cat is easily stressed, you may want to talk to discuss the possibility of medication with your vet. They may recommend a temporary, low-dose pill to help ease anxieties. 

Eliminate Hazards

From decorations to candy, there are lots of Halloween Hazards that a curious cat or pup could discover. To keep your pets, home, and others safe, make sure you avoid these common dangers.

  • Swap out real candles for battery-operated flicker lights. Candles can call the attention of mischievous cats who may try to play with the flame or knock the candle over, and excited pups could accidentally bump into furniture or decorations housing the candles, both causing fire hazards.
  • Keep the paws off the chocolate. Chocolates of all kinds are poisonous for dogs and, in large amounts, can cause upset stomachs, diarrhea, and even death. It’s best to keep these treats well out of reach and contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has digested any.
  • Candy wrappers are dangerous, too. Even if the candy itself doesn’t phase your dog’s stomach, the wrapper can become a choking hazard.
  • Avoid electrical shocks. Halloween decorations usually call for additional cords. To keep your pets from chewing on the cables and potentially jolting them with electricity, secure the lines down with electrical tape or cord runners.

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