Halloween is fun time for kids and grownups but it is also a time to be aware of hidden dangers. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is flooded with calls every Halloween from worried pet owners who need help. Below is a list prepared by the ASPCA based on the most commonly noted problems they encounter and how to make Halloween safe for your family pets.
Lock candy safely away. Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but a dog’s keen sense of smell will lead him to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. Contact a veterinary professional right away if your pet does get into the Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol. This caution applies to the family cat also.
Don’t leave the glow sticks lying around. Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun as well, and we commonly get calls about pets puncturing the sticks. While most of them are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste and we will often see pets who bite into them drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.
Keep your pet identified and visible. There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he or she wears a reflective collar and is securely leashed. And make sure you pet has proper identification on the collar.
Calm you pet. Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over the large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet away from trick-or-treaters may do the trick, but if you think more will be needed be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet.
Check those costumes. Costumes can be fun for the whole family. If you are planning on dressing up your best bud, ensure that the costume fits well and isn’t going to slip and tangle the pet or cause a choking hazard if chewed on. Never leave a costumed pet unattended.