It’s Halloween once again and homes across the nation are decorated with carved pumpkins and spooky decorations. While All Hallows Eve is a festive time for children and for the young at heart, our pets might not feel the same way about this holiday.
It looks to be wet and blustery this Halloween and pet owners in the Seattle area and beyond should take precautions for their pets.
PAWS Seattle and the ASPCA have some wonderful tips for pet owners to ensure that our pets are happy, healthy, and safe.
1. Keep both tricks and treats away from your pets. Sugar is unhealthy, but chocolate can be especially dangerous for both dogs and cats.
Candies that contain xylitol have been known to cause severe health issues. If you do believe that your pet has ingested a toxic substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 and consult your veterinarian.
2. Leave your pet at home and safely indoors. While trick-or-treating with your pet might sound like fun, he or she can be frightened by unfamiliar sights and sounds, like masks, costumes, and loud trick-or-treaters. Pets can easily become frightened and run away.
When trick-or-treaters come to the house, it is advisable to keep all of your pets away from the door. Repeated strangers dressed in unfamiliar and frightening costumes can be stressful – and some pets might try to run out the door. Be aware of where your pet is at all times!
3. Make sure that your carved pumpkins are inaccessible to pets if they contain candles.
4. Be safe with your decorations: They may be tempting to your animals. Hanging objects and loose wires can be hazardous for your pet. Keep wires, cords, and decorative lights out of their reach. Chewed cords can cause cuts, burns, and even life-threatening electrical shock.
5. Only dress your pet in a costume if he or she seems to enjoys it. Otherwise, it will cause undue stress.
Pet costumes, and especially dog costumes, have become very creative over the years. If you do dress up your pet, make sure that the costume is safe and does not constrict their movement or hearing. It should also not impede his or her ability to breathe, bark, or meow. Check for pieces that your pet might chew or choke on and check to make sure that your pet isn’t too warm.
If your pet doesn’t seem to like wearing a costume, consider something less intrusive, like a bandana for dogs or a sparkly collar if your cat wears a collar.
6. Ensure that your dog or cat has proper identification, including a collar and microchip with your current telephone number. If your pet does become frightened and runs away, identification can make the difference between being lost and being found.
7. If you have a black cat, be especially careful at this time of year. Make sure that he or she is safely indoors directly before, during, and after Halloween night.
For more holiday hazards, visit PAWS.org.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!