7 Tips for a Spooky (and Safe) Halloween with Pets

Holiday & seasonal
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1. Toil and Trouble in the Candy Cauldron

Chocolate and xylitol (a sugar substitute) are toxic to your pets. Keep them out of reach to avoid a late-night call to the vet. Other toxic items that may be found in candy include raisins, coffee, and macadamia nuts.

2. Don’t Tangle your Pets up on Fright Night

Make sure the costumes you choose don’t cause your furry friends stress. Costumes should be the right fit – not too lose or too tight – and shouldn’t weigh your pet down. Many pet owners use their pet’s cone from the vet to transform them into a flower or martini glass. While these costumes are sure to get a laugh, their cone can be associated with a stressful vet visit so make sure they feel comfortable in their costume.

It's also important to get your dog used to wearing a costume in the first place. Since most dogs don’t wear clothes on a regular basis, trying to dress them up for Halloween might be shocking and stressful to them.

3. Save the Tricks for the Kids

Your pets know who you are, but not when you’re behind a mask. Avoid stressing them out by leaving your face uncovered around them. If you’re using face paint instead of a mask, try to skip the good-byes for the night and slip out the door so they don’t see you. Putting them in a room away from you is also a good way to keep both of you safe.

If you will be hosting a party at your house where your dog will be present, get your dog used to your costume – especially if you will be wearing a mask or something that more than partially covers your body – in the weeks or days leading up to the party.

4. Stranger Danger on your Doorstep

Halloween promises that your doorbell will be ringing. Keep your pets safely away from the door to keep the spook – and chance of escape – to a minimum. It’s a good idea to keep your pets in a separate room with the door closed when you’re going to be opening and closing the front door to your house. You can even try putting the television or radio on to distract them.

5.Keep your Cats Cradled

Bring your outdoor cats inside for a few days around the holiday so they don’t get scared away or lost. The same goes for dogs that are kept outside for long periods of time.

Pay special attention if you have a black cat this Halloween season. It’s terrible, but black cats often fall victim to pranks and abuse during this time of the year. Don’t leave your black kitty outside alone in the days or weeks on either side of Halloween.

6.Boo-tiful Decorations can Cause Mayhem

Dogs and cats like to chew on anything dangling, so be sure to supervise them if you choose to haunt your house with decorations. Many decorations are made with chemicals that are not friendly to your pet’s tummies. Similarly, the fake cotton spiderweb and any garlands can wreak havoc on intestines.

A Safe Way to Celebrate Howloween

If your pet likes dressing up and socializing, check out your local rescue groups or pet businesses to see if they have pet-friendly events going on. Or if you and your pet prefer to stay in on Halloween, consider hosting a pet-friendly party at your home and encourage your friends to show up in their best couples costume. Make sure to keep the pet-safe treats on deck.

If you and your pet want to lay low from the ringing doorbell and costumed kids, consider turning off the porch light and snuggling in for evening – or do one better and plan a road trip for the night so you won’t have to worry about the stray kids who try their luck at houses with the porch light off. Check out some pet-friendly hotels if you want to spend some extra time away from home.