Trick or treat! This Halloween, you can have both with your pet—provided you keep them safe and sound during your celebrations. It’s supposed to be the spookiest time of the year, but your pet doesn’t know that. Unusual activities, strangers all around, and scary costumes—it’s all in good fun, but they’re likely to cause anxiety and stress for your furry family members.
Today we’ll have a couple of simple safety tips to help you and your pets enjoy a safe Halloween.
Treats are (mostly) for people
If you’re giving out candy, a good idea is to keep it somewhere out of reach of your pet. Many popular Halloween treats are toxic to both cats and dogs—chocolate (especially dark or baking chocolate) in particular is found in many candies, and even a small amount can send your pet to the vet. Xylitol, found in sugar-free candies, can also cause serious problems. If your pet suddenly looks sluggish or starts vomiting, contact your veterinarian or the poisoni control center right away!
Dress up, but don’t forget your pet’s ID
It’s fun to dress up our pets in cute (or creepy!) costumes and take them out on the town, but this creates the risk of them being unidentifiable when they’re lost! Even if they aren’t in costume, they should still have their ID tag on them. If they get too spooked and run off, you’ll at least be able to identify them when they’re found.
Wires aren’t treats
Sometimes Halloween decorating can be so complex that it needs a substantial amount of power to run. Moving skeletons, coffins that open when somebody walks by, or even just spooky ambient lighting for your house—all these things need electricity, and that means new wires being run around carrying significant amounts of current. Curious pets can possibly chew on these wires or get tripped up on them, possibly even becoming entangled. Nevermind the fact that this will probably destroy the décor, it could cause serious injury for your pet! The best thing you can do is to train your pets not to chew on wires, but if that isn’t possible before the end of October, one way to solve this is to tack electrical cords under carpets or against walls, or even hidden under cableways.
Keep your costume to a minimum or acclimatize your dog to it
Dogs will rely on their sense of smell identify people they know, but they still do recognize people’s appearance. An elaborate Halloween costume will not only change how you look, but make-up, rubber masks, and even new clothes can change how you smell. Not only that, many costumes can look threatening or intimidating to dogs. Once a fear response is provoked, some dogs may opt to run away or hide, but some will become aggressive. Even normally calm pups can get riled up when their sense of self-preservation kicks in. Before the day comes to wear the costume, introduce it to your dog little by little. Maybe wear the mask or the clothes on their own, or even let them play with bits of it (that aren’t potentially toxic or choking hazards). It’ll help soften the impact when you don the full costume.
If your pet doesn’t do well with strangers or you’re heading out for the night and can’t bring them along, you don’t have to resort to a pet care center or leaving them with friends or relatives. Your pets will be most comfortable in their familiar home—which is why we have Pet Nannies who can come by while you’re out to make sure that your furry loved ones are as comfortable as possible.
We at Pet Nanny are ready and waiting to help you for any pet-related concerns, especially if you’re out for a special day this season. Follow us on our social media accounts or give us a call at 734-981-6108. Alternatively, you can use our on-line contact form and we’ll get in touch with you!