Halloween is just a few days away and can be a fun event for families and their pets. While you’re preparing to take your children trick-or-treating or to pass out candy from your home, don’t forget about your furry friends. Here are some quick and easy safety tips that will allow you to enjoy Halloween with your four-legged family members!
No Tricks and No Treats.
Leave the trick-or-treat candy for the kids. Chocolate- especially dark or baking chocolate- as well as xylitol, a sweetener found in many candies, can be extremely dangerous to animals. If you suspect that your pet has gotten in to anything toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. To prevent tragic accidents, keep candy in a place where your pets cannot reach it and get them their own, pet-friendly, Halloween goodies to spoil them with instead.
Choose a costume that fits well and is safe for your pet.
While in costume, your pet should still be able to move and breath freely without any constriction. The costume should also not restrict their hearing or vision and should not irritate their skin or fur. The costume should also not have any parts that your pet can easily chew or swallow such as beads, buttons, strings or ties. Ending up in the vet on Halloween night would probably not be the evening that you had imagined.
Choose a costume that your pet doesn’t mind wearing.
If the minute you put the costume on your pet, he is biting and scratching at it, then the odds are that he doesn’t like it. Take your pet to a local pet store that allows your furry friend inside and try on a couple of costumes first. You could be surprised and your pet may be okay with extravagant costumes, or you could find out that she hates them, but is okay with a bandana. You don’t want to find out when you’re walking out the door that your Dachshund refuses to walk encased in a giant hotdog bun.
Make sure your pet is properly tagged.
With all of the Halloween action, children roaming the streets and the doorbell ringing every couple of minutes, it is best to make sure that your pet has its ID tag on in case it decides to dart out the door or break free of its leash.
Lock your pet up.
This comes down to knowing your pet’s personality. If your pet isn’t sociable, be sure that you put her in a separate room during trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers coming to your door can be scary and stressful for pets. Or, if you know that the doorbell is going to drive your pet crazy, try sitting outside to greet the trick-or-treaters, instead.
In preparation for the holiday, we have put together a roundup of our favorite submissions from our 2012 Pet Costume Contest. Check out these adorable costume ideas for some spooky inspiration!