Your Burnaby New Westminster Animal Hospital Pet Care News
Protect your pets at Halloween
Halloween festivities can be sooo FUN!
However our pets can be frightened by all of the noises, the costumes, the decorations, the fireworks and the visitors to our homes. You can make Halloween safe for your pets by following these precautions.
Dressing Up Your Pet
It's fun for humans but consider whether this is something your pet enjoys.
If your pet tolerates a costume, keep in mind your pet must be comfortable at all times.
Avoid costumes that use rubber bands or anything that might constrict circulation or breathing.
Likewise, avoid costumes with toxic paints, dyes, or that are edible.
Dressing Up Yourself
Costumes on people can be equally scary to pets. Masks, large hats, and other costume accessories can confuse pets and may even trigger territorial instincts. It is not unusual for pets to act protective and fearful of people in costumes, even if they are normally very social with that person.
All the visitors to the door can upset pets
Humans think "Trick or treaters" are the best part of Halloween but your pet may find that the constant stream of strangers ringing the doorbell, yelling and door opening to be quite upsetting. Add that to the spooky sights and sounds and this may cause a normally calm pet to escape the house. Or your pet might become aggressive and try to bite someone because they are upset. Remember, you are responsible for controlling your pet and insuring that he doesn't bite any guests.
Consider letting your dog spend Halloween inside in a room with the door closed. Supply them with special treats, their favorite bed and leave a light on for them so they feel safe and secure.
Even in a fenced yard, Halloween is not a good night for a dog to be outside.
This risk is doubly true for cats: they may try to bolt out the door and, even if they are allowed outside, they are more at risk for being hit by cars due to the high traffic from trick or treaters.
Black cats, especially, are at a higher risk from human cruelty on Halloween.
Consider keeping your cats in an interior room, with their favorite bedding and some kitty treats, where they are unable to bolt out the door.
Halloween Decorations Can Be Unsafe for Pets
- Fake cobwebs or anything resembling string can be tempting to cats, leading to an intestinal obstruction.
- Candles, even inside pumpkins, can be easily knocked over, burning your pet or even lighting them (it has happened before) or your house on fire!
Halloween Candy Can Harm Your Pet (it's more than just the chocolate problem!)
Keep pets away from all Halloween candy. Most people know that chocolate can be toxic to pets, even in small amounts. However lollipop sticks and foil wrappers can cause blockages in the intestinal tract. Candy sweetened with xylitol can cause a life threatening drop in blood sugar if ingested by a pet. Some pets can get an upset stomach just from eating a piece of candy, since it isn't part of their regular diet.
For more information on how to make Halloween less stressful to your pet, contact your veterinarian.
Created by M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM