It’s hard to beat the cute factor of a fluffy little pup dressed up in a Halloween costume. However, Halloween can be one of the most dangerous and scary nights of the year for pets.
Some pets may love being dressed up and being the life of the party while others may shy away from being in a costume or become frightened by some of the other beings in costume. Because of how varied pet reactions can be, you should know your pet and treat them accordingly.
Here are some things to help keep your pet safe this Halloween:
No Sweets for Fido – Almost everyone knows that chocolate can be dangerous and potentially deadly for dogs, but xylitol, an artificial sweetener in many sugar-free candies, is just as dangerous for pets.
Keep it Loose – If your pet agrees to a costume (don’t force it to wear something it hates), make sure that it is loose and comfortable on the animal. You don’t want to create a potential choking hazard.
No Jim Carrey - Don’t put any mask on your pets. You never know what it’ll turn them into and it could obstruct their sight, hearing and ability to perform all their normal tasks. Costumes shouldn’t cover the nose, eyes or ears.
Avoid the Removables – If your pet is wearing a costume, make sure there are no pieces they can tear off. You should also ingratiate your pet to the costume beforehand by letting them sniff it and get used to the scent. If you skip this step, you run the risk of your pet tearing the costume/outfit to pieces when you aren’t looking.
Pumpkins are Scary – Festive plants such as pumpkins and squash can be upsetting to the stomach of some dogs and cats, so don’t let them nipple on the decorative plants around the house.
Jack-o-Lanterns are Even Scarier – Carved pumpkins are one of the most common Halloween decorations and are great fun to decorate as a family. However, if you plan to put candles inside and turn them into jack-o-lanterns, be careful where you place them. Curious cats can singe themselves on the flames or even worse a dog or cat could knock over the pumpkin and cause a fire.
Goblins and Ghouls – Your pet is probably not going to be used to having so many new “faces” coming and going at your door. What reaction that will cause depends on your pet’s demeanor, but it might be best to keep them in a secluded area of the house to keep them from becoming upset, scared, frightened, angry, somber or whatever their food will become. If you let them stay in the main room, they may also become a hazard, if they are apt to help you answer the door when they hear a knock or a doorbell.
TightWire Act – If you put up any lights or light up decorations that have an electrical cord, make sure to tape them out of reach of your pets. A little nibble on one of those wouldn’t make for a good Halloween evening.
Inside Job – Also, unless it is absolutely imperative, I’d recommend keeping your pets inside on Halloween night. There’s no telling what costume may get their attention and have them bolt toward it. You also have the concern of some evil pranksters bothering your pets (especially if you have a black cat), if the pets are outside.