halloween pet safety

Autumn in Brooklyn is simply splendid. From the city’s finest craft fairs to parades and harvest festivals, every kid, grown-up, and pet can find something to do. While considerable time and energy goes toward having fun, it’s important to remember that the season’s biggest event also has the potential to be the most dangerous.

With Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital’s Halloween pet safety pointers, you can let the zombies, monsters, and witches have all the scares.

Taking It All In

The two main components of Halloween can seriously endanger your pet.

  • Costumes – Pet costumes (commercial and DIY) are all the rage nowadays, but a few things deserve full attention. Your pet’s airways and vision should never be restricted or compromised. Costumes must also allow your pet to move normally, eat/drink without problems, and go to the bathroom when nature calls. Costumes should never have loose or dangling parts, such as bells, bows, and ribbons. If your pet tries to wiggle out of the costume, a bandana, bowtie, or other festive accessory might be a better option.
  • Candy – To avoid chocolate or Xylitol poisoning, keep all candy out of reach. Candies containing raisins or macadamia nuts are also highly toxic. Plastic, foil, or cellophane wrappers can be enticing to pets, causing painful (and potentially expensive) gastrointestinal blockages. Lollipop and candy apple sticks can result in intestinal ruptures, necessitating emergency care or surgery.

Other Halloween Pet Safety Tactics

Planning on trick-or-treating this Halloween? Your pet may be game, but keep an eye out for any signs of stress. A normally relaxed pet can be quickly upset by crowds, unpredictable noises, lighting effects, and other animals in close proximity. To guard against an upset pet, maintain a full visual on your pet at parades, parties, and other festive events.

Halloween is scary for another reason: pets become lost or separated from their owners. The dark, traffic, and costume-clad crowds are all disorienting, highlighting the importance of your pet’s visible collar and ID tags. Likewise, update your pet’s microchip if you’ve made any changes to your contact information. Reflective tape or flashy material can help drivers or cyclists see them, but due to their toxic chemicals please do not attach glow sticks.

And Then…?

Halloween pet safety can only be complete with the following:

  • Before (and during) the scariest night of the year, make sure your pet is never alone outside after dark. Exercise your pet thoroughly before trick-or-treating commences to burn up excess energy.
  • At home, encourage your pet to remain in a quiet room away from the door. This prevents possible escape, but it may also soothe a jittery pet upset by the constant doorbell and loud voices.
  • Keep decorative light strings off the floor.
  • Jack o’lanterns can cause fires if knocked down by a wagging tail, or can easily singe whiskers. Keep them outside, if possible.
  • Whether your pet is staying in or going out, be sure that their microchip and ID info is up to date (and that tags are on, just in case!)

Our veterinarians and staff are always happy to help. If you have any questions or concerns about Halloween pet safety, we encourage you to contact us.

Happy Halloween!