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how to keep pets safe during Halloween

How to Have a Safe Howl-o-ween!

Halloween is just around the corner, and this can be a fun and spooktacular time of year for some pets but outright scary for others.

While some dogs might love being out amongst the trick-or-treaters, other skittish dogs and cats might need to stay at home and enjoy a quiet evening. Whether your pet is a costume loving party animal or a homebody, here are some essential tips to keep all pets safe before and during Halloween.

No Sugary Treats

Keep all that tempting candy away from your pets. Store your holiday candy stash in a locked cupboard and do not leave candy corn or other types of treats in candy dishes. Chocolate can be dangerous and even fatal for both dogs and cats. Xylitol, (an artificial sweetener) found in many types of candy and gum, can kill a dog – even in small amounts. If you think your pet may have ingested something toxic, call us at 386-252-0206 or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 immediately.

A special Halloween treat that your dog can enjoy is fresh pumpkin! Resist the urge to share the candy and give them some roasted pumpkin instead or try the recipe below from the American Kennel Club.


Tricks Can Be Dangerous for Outside Pets

Unfortunately, some people do malicious things to animals on Halloween, including injuring and stealing them. Black cats are typically the most vulnerable but other pets can also be harmed. Keep dogs, cats, and all pets inside on Halloween night. We recommend that even your outdoor cats be kept indoors for a few days before and after the holiday.

Not All Pets Enjoy Trick-or-Treating

Lots of trick-or-treaters means your front door will be opened constantly, making it easy for your pet to sneak out and wander off while you’re distracted. Additionally, some pets can become anxious with all those weirdly dressed strangers, and the doorbell constantly ringing. Keep an eye on your cat or dog at all times, or even keep them in a closed room with their favorite toys and treats.

If your pet does get out, make sure you’ve made it easy for someone to identify them and contact you. Both cats and dogs should have a collar with current ID tags and be microchipped. If your pet isn’t microchipped make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

If your dog is friendly and enjoys being out an about during trick-or-treating, make sure to keep them on a tight leash to avoid running away or being hit by a car – a common trauma we see this time of year.

Fire Hazards

While pumpkin is a tasty treat, a lighted jack-o’-lantern is a safety hazard. Pets can get excited and easily knock it over and start a fire. Kittens and cats can be particularly curious about new decorations and get burned or singed by open flames. Keep jack-o’-lanterns out of your pet’s reach, or better yet, use a flameless candle or a plastic jack-o-lantern.

Not All Pets Like Costumes

If you want to dress up your dog or cat, make sure they don’t mind wearing a costume. Never dress your pet in anything flammable or with any pieces that could be easily chewed off. Make sure the costume doesn’t constrict your cat or dog’s ability to see, breathe, bark, meow, hear, or move. And if your pet doesn’t enjoy wearing a costume, have them go as themselves. We are sure they will still probably be the cutest thing you see on Halloween.

We hope you and your furry family members have a purrfect holiday, but if your dog or cat experiences any type of emergency, you can trust in the care at AEHV 24/7.

Emergency Care Day or Night

Animal Emergency Hospital Volusia is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are located at 696 South Yonge St. (US 1) Ormond Beach, FL 32174. We welcome your call anytime, day or night, at 386-252-0206.

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