Although you may want to include your pet in the festivities, remember that chocolate and sweets are not healthy for your cats and dogs. Their digestive systems are not adapted for sweets, and chocolate contains Theobromine, which can be harmful and sometimes fatal. Choose wrapped candies to prevent your cat or dog from being attracted to the sweet, and store them in a safe place your pet cannot reach.
On Halloween, walk your dog while it is still light out before trick-or-treaters begin their journeys. Your dog may find candy, wrappers, and broken eggs on lawns and streets. Make sure that these “tempting treats” stay out of reach.
Keep your cat inside on Halloween night and several days before the event. Cats can be the target of some very cruel and often deadly Halloween pranks, making the holiday especially dangerous for outdoor felines.
Children in costumes can frighten pets, and dogs can also frighten children. Secure your pets in a safe and secure room when you answer the door so they cannot run out, get hurt, or frighten your visitors.
With all the opening and closing of the door to greet children in costume, it can be easy for a pet to slip out without your noticing, especially when it comes to cats and small dogs. Even if your pet is safely in a room or crate away from the door, be sure that your pet has on ID or a microchip just in case.
If your dog enjoys greeting trick-or-treaters, keep him on a leash. Halloween can create some scenarios your dog may never have experienced, causing him to react unpredictably. The leash will help you to react if your dog becomes upset or frightened..
If you decide to dress up your pet in a costume, keep your eyes on the pet at all times. Make sure it fits properly and is not in the way of breathing, eyesight, or hearing. Look carefully at costumes for potential choking hazards, and consider removing small plastic parts like beads and other decorations.
Watch out for your party decorations to make sure your pet doesn’t ingest them or become tangled in wires or other dangerous materials. Fake spider webs and plastic spiders can be tempting to both cats and dogs and can result in swallowing and choking incidents that can be very serious.
Don’t leave your dog unattended outside on Halloween, even if he is behind a fence. Pranksters may target your dog with eggs, and passersby may be tempted to give your dog harmful treats and candy. He may also be frightened by flashlights, costumes, and loud voices, so keep him inside with you.
Be careful about where you place candles and Jack-o-Lanterns. They can easily be knocked over by your dog’s wagging tail – and either start a fire or cause the dog to burn himself. Some candles have also proven to be toxic to cats, so keep candles out of your kitty’s reach where she won’t be tempted to “taste” the candle.
Remember to monitor your pet and keep her comfort in mind. With a little care and supervision, many pets (especially dogs) can enjoy this fun holiday right along with us!