Halloween can be a very scary time of year for both people and pets, but you can limit the stress and anxiety your pets may have during this season by following these simple tricks.
Avoid giving candy: As much as your pets give you those puppy dog eyes or nudge you begging for treats, resist the urge to share your Halloween candy with them. Both chocolate and xylitol, a sweetener found in many candies, can be especially dangerous for your pets to eat. In addition, the sticks of lollipops or the wrappers of the candy can be choking hazards for your pet. If your pet ingests any of your candy, please call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Watch your decorations: Holiday decorations such as carved pumpkins, electrical cords, plants or decorative corn should be kept away from your pets. Not only could a swinging tail or a curious cat knock over candles or lit Jack-O-Lanterns, but they could also chew on cords or eat plants that could be harmful to them. If you have decorations like these at your house, make sure to keep them out of reach of your pets, or secure them so that pets won’t get harmed.
Keep them separated: Whether you are having an indoor bash or just greeting trick-or-treaters at your door, a rush of people at your home can be stressful to your pets. Keep your pet’s anxiety level to a minimum by placing your pet in a separate room or away from where all of the foot traffic occurs. If the noises continue to bother them, consider turning on some relaxing music so it can tune out some of the other chatter that comes along with Halloween.
Choose costumes wisely: Although one of the safest bets for getting your pets in the Halloween spirit is by using a loosely tied bandana, many of us still enjoy dressing up our pets in costumes. Choose a costume that is loose fitting and will not make it difficult for your pet to move around. If costumes are too tight or if they have too many bells and whistles, you pet could get tangled up or cause injury to him or herself while trying to get out of the outfit. Some pets really don’t like being dressed up. If your pet is one that doesn’t like costumes, don’t force them to wear something for your own amusement. This will just add stress and will leave you with a very unhappy animal.
ID your pets: Whether you are or aren’t planning to take your pets out this Halloween, please make sure all of your animals have proper identification. By having a collar, ID tags and microchip on each of your pets, you are potentially saving their life. With so much foot traffic this time of year even a housed pet can get out and without proper identification it will be more difficult for your pet to be returned to you quickly.
For more about pet care and Halloween see an article coming Monday in the Life section.