Keep your pets safe this Halloween (1)
Posted October 26, 2018
Halloween is meant to be a fun festivity for all
involved. However, for our furry friends, the holiday can turn into
a frightful time.
The tradition of trick-or-treating has long been a fun festivity
for both children and adults. While we might appreciate the large
assortment of chocolate and caramel, Kit Darling, infection control
coordinator at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences, said that all Halloween candy should be
kept away from our pets.
“Many candies are toxic to pets, including chocolates,” Darling
said. “Candies and gum containing the sugar-free sweetener xylitol
are also toxic, so it’s important to keep candy secure from our
According to Darling, lollipops and candies with plastic
wrappers and components can cause intestinal blockage if ingested.
Additionally, owners should clean up all trash leftover from the
“Other items to keep away from your pets include candles,
pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, lights, and electrical cords,” Darling
said. “If you suspect your pet has ingested anything harmful,
contact the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.”
Another Halloween tradition, dressing in costume, may not be
suited for our pets. While they may look adorable dressed as
Superman or Cinderella, pets typically do not enjoy the costume
experience as much as we do. To ensure your pet is comfortable and
dressed appropriately, Darling recommends following these simple
“Don’t dress your pet in costume unless you know they are fine
with it. Owners should try the costume on their pet before
Halloween to ensure it does not restrict their movement, hearing,
sight, or breathing. Costumes with lights or batteries are a safety
hazard and should be avoided.”
Unfortunately, Halloween is notorious for being a time when
pranksters steal, tease, or injure animals. Black cats are
especially at risk, so they should be kept indoors several days
prior to and after the holiday.
“Continuous doorbell ringing and people dressed in costume may
cause anxiety in your pet, so try to put them in a secure location,
such as a crate or a room away from the front door,” Darling said.
“This will minimize their stress and keep them from running out of
Pets should always be equipped with some form of identification,
but it is especially important on Halloween night, as pets may
become frightened and escape from the safety of their home. If you
plan to take your pet trick-or-treating this Halloween, be sure to
walk them on a leash with a reflective collar or tape.
Halloween should be a festivity enjoyed by adults, children, and
four-legged friends, alike. This year, be prepared for the holiday
by taking the necessary precautions to make it a safe, fun-filled
night for every member of the family.
Pet Talk is a service of the Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Stories can be
viewed on the web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for
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