Halloween may be more popular overseas and a bit different this year than normal, but it’s always good to know how to keep your pet safe if you are celebrating Halloween. We’ve put together a simple list of the top 5 things to remember:
Keep your pets safe on Howl-o-ween!
1. Keep an eye out for candy capers!
When it comes to chocolates and candy, these should always be kept away from pets, even more so during Halloween. Your pet should not be eating any of it, as they can be particularly toxic. This includes:
Raisins and chocolate-covered raisins
This can be tough as you share your candy haul with friends and family. Consider doing so in a room without your pet, and storing it in a locked or high cabinet that even the most athletic of pets won’t be able to access. If you suspect your pet has eaten anything toxic, call your vet immediately.
If you are looking for a pet-friendly Halloween treat, try these:
2. Pick a comfy costume
If you are looking to dress your pet up for Halloween, you’re not short of options. There are so many cute and creepy costumes out there for pets. But while there may be, in theory, a costume for every pet, not every pet wants to dress up—and that’s OK! Follow these tips when dressing up your pet:
- Choose a comfortable costume that fits properly, doesn’t restrict movement and doesn’t hinder your pet’s ability to breathe.
- If your pet displays any signs of stress or discomfort such as pacing, hiding or refusing to move, take it off. (No cute photo op is worth your pet’s discomfort.)
- Check the costume before the big night to make sure there are no loose buttons or embellishments that your pet could tear off and swallow.
- Ensure their Halloween fashion show is brief. Your pet might be game for a quick Instagram photo session in their costume, but they may become uncomfortable if left in their outfit for a longer period of time.
- Never leave your pet alone when they’re dressed in their costume. You need to keep an eye on them in case of a costume malfunction, like if their costume gets caught on something.
3. Beware of Decoration Dangers
With a bit of social distancing required this Halloween, you may want to spookify your house with a few decorations. But beware, some of the decorations could put your pets at risk, such as:
- Electrical cords: Pets can easily chew on them and get an electric shock or get tangled up. Opt for decorations that run on batteries, rather than electrical cords.
- Fog machines: You don’t want them to consume the possibly toxic solution. Keep these away from pets or pass on them.
- Glow sticks: Some pets may mistake these for chew toys. Similar to fog machines, you don't want them to consume the possibly toxic solution.
- Candles: Candles on their own or in jack-o-lanterns are seasonal favorites, but dogs and cats can easily knock them over or burn themselves. Opt for faux candles or keep them in an area your pet can’t reach them.
- Small decorations or decorations with small baubles: These can be a choking hazard. Go big and keep them out of reach from your pets, or skip them altogether.
4. Keep the hocus pocus away from them
Can you think of anything scarier than one of your pets getting lost? No spooky story or horror movie can compare to that scary scenario! You may be opening and closing the front door more often on Halloween, and it’s best to keep pets away to prevent them from slipping out. They may also become stressed/spooked from the different costumed faces suddenly appearing around them too.
During trick-or-treating hours or if you’re having friends over for a small (socially distanced) Halloween get-together, the best course of action is to keep your pets safely in their crate and out of sight of the front door or in a secure, quiet room. Be sure you add some creature comforts to their secured space, such as their bed, water, food, and your cat’s litter tray.
Should your pet slip out of the house, proper identification can help get them home safe and sound—and quickly, too. Double check that their collar and ID tag are all secure and up to date. If your pet is microchipped, ensure that your contact information is correct in the microchip company’s database. If your pet isn’t microchipped, talk to your vet about the simple procedure to provide future peace of mind.
5. Soothe skittish spirits
Although this year’s Halloween season may look a little different, it’s still important for pet parents to prepare for any anxiety it may bring to your fur baby. Whether it's encountering people in costumes during walks, spooky loud and bright decorations, or the temptations of a sneaky treat from your stash, watch for signs of stress and anxiety, including:
- Excessive barking
- Pacing are all signs of anxiety
- Going to the bathroom in the house (or, for cats, outside of the litter box)
If you notice any of these signs, contact your vet to rule out any medical problems and, if none exist, consider a calming supplement or calming apparel to help ease their symptoms on potentially stressful days, such as Halloween night.
Calming diffusers, such as the Adaptil Dog Diffuser and Feliway Calming Cat Diffuser, are good options to consider. These are made to release special dog- and cat-appeasing pheromones to help pets feel safe and secure. You can also try Washbar Lavendar Calm Spritzer.
However you choose to spend Halloween, make sure you and your furry friends stay safe. Feel free to call our friendly team on 0800 200 240 for any pet-safe Halloween advice.