Keep your pets safe this Halloween
Posted October 29, 2017
Children and adults may love the spooky traditions
of Halloween, but our pets are less likely to appreciate the
costumes, masks, and parties associated with Halloween night.
Kit Darling, infection control coordinator at the Texas A&M
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences,
recommended a few tips to keep your pet safe this Halloween.
"Keep candy secure from pets," Darling said. "Many candies are
toxic to pets, such as chocolates. Candies and gum containing the
sugar-free sweetener xylitol are also toxic."
Additionally, lollipops and other candies with plastic wrappers
can cause intestinal blockage if ingested, Darling said. Be sure to
clean up candy trash and store candy on a high shelf to prevent
pets from reaching it.
Other items to keep away from your pets include candles,
pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, corn, lights, and electrical cords. These
objects are a hazard if consumed or chewed on by your pet. If you
suspect your pet has ingested a dangerous item, Darling recommended
contacting the Animal Poison Control Center, at (888) 426-4435, or
Pet owners may want to dress their pet for Halloween night, but
this may not be the best idea. Darling said pets shouldn’t be
dressed in costume unless you know they are comfortable wearing the
outfit. Make sure the costume does not restrict your pet’s
movement, hearing, sight, or breathing. Additionally, costumes with
lights or batteries are a safety hazard and should be avoided.
Keeping pets in a secure location will ensure they are protected
from pranksters who may steal, tease, and injure them. Black cats
should be kept inside for several days before and after Halloween
because they are at risk for being the target of a Halloween prank.
Trick-or-treaters or party guests also may startle your pets, which
is another good reason to reserve a safe and secure place for your
pets to stay on Halloween night.
"Continuous doorbell ringing and people at the door in costume
may stress your pet," Darling said. "Put your pet in a secure
location, such as a crate or room away from the front door. This
will help minimize stress and will keep your pets from running out
the front door."
Although pets should have an identification on them at all
times, it is especially important on Halloween night. Human and
vehicular traffic may frighten animals and cause them to run from
the safety of your home. If you are going to take your pet
trick-or-treating with you, walk them on a leash and provide them
with a reflective collar or tape so they are more visible at night.
Darling also recommended a form of identification that could not
come off, such as a microchip.
Halloween is a fun night for people of all ages, but it is
important to keep in mind your pet’s safety when planning parties
and participating in other Halloween traditions. Nobody wants to
spend Halloween night searching for a lost pet or sitting in the
emergency room of a veterinary hospital, so be sure to put your
pet’s safety first.
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
future topics may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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