4 Must-Follow Halloween Pet-Safety Tips
Keep canines away from the candy bowl, for starters.
Bring the whole family in on the Halloween fun—even your furry, four-legged members. Dress up your cats and dogs in creative costumes, like Barking Beetlejuice or Chicken “Poodle” Soup. While you’re spreading holiday cheer around the house, be sure to keep any potentially harmful tricks and treats out of your pet’s reach. Here, Royal Canin Veterinary Manager Dr. Catherine Lenox offers some helpful Halloween pet-safety advice.
1. Hang decorations out of paws’ reach.
“The goal is to avoid having your pet ingest any decorations. Keep small objects and anything potentially edible out of their reach,” Dr. Lenox advises. “Consumption of items such as anything ribbon-like or objects small enough to be consumed by your pet can lead to gastrointestinal upset and/or obstruction. A good rule of thumb is if you see your pet showing interest in any of your decorations, put them up higher and out of reach.”
2. Keep pets away from the candy bowl.
“Most people know that chocolate is toxic to pets, but other Halloween treats can be dangerous if ingested. This includes raisins, macadamia nuts, anything sweetened with xylitol, and other foods,” says Dr. Lenox. “Halloween candy should always be stored out of reach from pets, on a high shelf in your pantry or in a cabinet. The kitchen counter is not secure enough, especially if you have a cat or a larger dog, as they can figure out ways to reach the counter,” she says.
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3. Have the vet’s number handy just in case.
“If your pet does eat chocolate, call your veterinarian or the nearest animal emergency clinic immediately, or as soon as you realize that it happened. It’s important to call quickly because treatment of chocolate ingestion is both time-sensitive and dependent on the amount of chocolate consumed. Your veterinary team may walk you through steps to take or may recommend bringing your pet in for an emergency visit,” Dr Lenox says. She also advises calling the vet if your pet consumes anything out of the ordinary, in case they might need medical care.
4. Help them feel safe on Halloween night.
Your pet may get excited or nervous when the doorbell rings or strangers approach the door—which is almost constantly when trick-or-treaters are running around on October 31. Try to keep hyper-active pets in a secure spot, like their kennel, during the chaos. “Trick-or-treaters can disrupt a pet’s environment and routine, so make sure they are safe and that they can’t escape when the door is open. Your pet should also be microchipped and/or have a collar with tags in case they get outside,” says Dr. Lenox.