Pet Talk: Halloween Pet Safety
Posted October 27, 2016
Though children and adults get a thrill from the spooky
traditions of Halloween, our pets are less likely to appreciate the
costumes, masks, and parties associated with Halloween night. To
ensure your pet’s safety this Halloween, Kit Darling, infection
control coordinator at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary
Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, recommended a few tips.
“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, Darling said lollipops and other candies with plastic
components and wrappers can cause intestinal blockage if ingested.
Be sure to clean up any 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 harmful candy or another dangerous
item, Darling recommended contacting the Animal Poison Control
Center at (888) 426-4435 or your veterinarian.
Pet owners may want their pet to participate in the well-known
Halloween tradition of wearing costumes, but they may not enjoy the
experience as much as you. To determine if it is appropriate to
dress your pet for Halloween night, Darling recommended these
helpful tips. “Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know
they are fine with it,” she said. “Try on the costume before
Halloween and make sure it does not restrict their movement,
hearing, sight, or breathing.” Additionally, costumes with lights
or batteries are a safety hazard and should be avoided.
Another safety tip Darling recommended was keeping pets in a
secure location to ensure they are protected from pranksters who
may steal, tease, and injure pets. Black cats should be kept inside
several days prior and after Halloween because they are especially
at risk for being a target of a Halloween prank. Trick-or-treaters
or party guests may also stress out and startle your pets, so this
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 cause stress for 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 off
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, so be sure to put
your pet’s safety first.
Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be
viewed on the Web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for
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