9 things to keep your pet safe this Halloween

Halloween is supposed to be a fun time of the year, but it can be a scary and stressful one for your pets.

From a constant stream of people knocking on your door to candy that can be deadly, here are some tips to keep your four-legged family members safe this Halloween.


1. Keep your pets away from: chocolate, raisins, xylitol

Signs of chocolate toxicity can include vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate and seizures. Also, chocolate is more dangerous for a smaller dog because they don’t have to ingest as much as a larger dog to cause toxicity.

“Chocolate contains a naturally occurring stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine,” said Dr. Sarah Nold, staff veterinarian at Trupanion. “If enough theobromine is ingested it can be toxic to dogs and cats.”

Pet owners should also keep treats containing the sugar substitute xylitol away from their pets. Xylitol causes very low blood sugar that can result in weakness, collapse and seizures.

2. Costumes

Pet costumes can be fun and make for cute photos, but make sure they are safe and don’t add any stress to your pet.

Watch out for any loose or dangling parts that your pet might eat.

Make sure the fit is right and your pet can move comfortably, and are well lit.

Experts recommend having your pet try on the costume before the big night.

3. Check that your decorations are pet-proof

Be careful of candles - flames can easily find wagging tails and curious noses.

Many festive decorations can easily get stuck in your pet’s intestinal tract, including spider webs or pumpkin rinds. It’s best to keep everything above “pet level” so they don’t accidentally eat something they shouldn’t.

Also, keep your pet away from any maize or corn decorations.

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4. Trick or treaters knocking at your door

The constant knocking and doorbell ringing could be stressful on your pet. Many experts suggest putting your dog or cat in a separate room, with music or a TV playing, away from the commotion of the front door.

5. Proper identification

Because the possibility of escape is higher on Halloween, ensure that all the proper ID is on your pet in case they run out the door.

6. Switch up your routine

Try taking your dog out for an earlier walk. The early walk will help them burn any extra energy and prevent them from being frightened or stressed by mask-wearing children and adults.

Also, an early walk can help reduce their chances of finding and eating stray pieces of candy.

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7. Glow sticks

While they may be used to help keep kids safe out in the dark, glow sticks aren’t good for our pets.

While most glow sticks are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste.

When chewed, glow sticks release liquid that tastes very bad and can make pets drool excessively or act strangely.

A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste and reaction.

8. Pets deserve treats too!

Treats with pumpkin are perfectly fine to give to your pets.

But be sure to read any labels on treats if you are unsure about giving then to your pets.

9. Have a fun and safe Halloween!

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