When it comes to Halloween, humans definitely have the advantage over pets. Even the youngest children can grasp the concept that everything is pretend and it’s just a fun day. Your dog or cat has no way of knowing this. To her, Halloween can be confusing and stressful. People dressed in costumes ring the doorbell non-stop, treats that she can’t have seem to be everywhere, and her family possibly scolds her for sniffing, chewing, or knocking over decorations. While your pet may never fully enjoy Halloween, you can do several things to make it less stressful for her.
Safe at Home is the Best Place for Your Pet
Even if your dog goes with you everywhere, he should stay home on Halloween night. Going to someone else’s house for a party or accompanying you and your children trick-or-treating could bring out behavior that you wouldn’t expect due to the stress. The confusion of people in costumes could also make him feel anxious enough to run away from you or even try to bite someone.
We also recommend keeping your pet in a safe room well away from the door on Halloween night. She will feel less frazzled not hearing knocks on the door or the ringing of the doorbell so frequently. Additionally, it keeps her from darting out the door and safe from anyone who would do her harm. Just to be safe, make sure that your pet has microchip identification.
Don’t Give Human Treats to Pets
You might think that sharing a fun-sized candy bar with your pet won’t hurt anything. Sadly, this is not true. Even a small amount of chocolate, artificial sweetener, and other ingredients in candy can cause an immediate toxic reaction. Common symptoms include difficulty breathing, seizure activity, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. It’s better to give your pet species-appropriate treats if you want to give her something during the Halloween season.
Be Mindful of Decorations
It can be easy to overlook how things like a cardboard cut-out, a lit pumpkin, or fake cobwebs can be dangerous for pets. Before you put anything up, be certain that it doesn’t present a choking hazard and that it’s well out of your pet’s reach. To avoid a possible fire, skip lighting candles inside of pumpkins or use an artificial source of light instead.
Make or Choose Costumes with Safety in Mind
A pet dressed in Halloween costumes is almost too adorable to resist. Before you put a costume on your dog or cat, make sure that it doesn’t cover his eyes, nose, or mouth or become tangled in his legs or around his tail. If you see a loose part that he could choke on, remove it right away. It’s important to supervise your pet while he’s wearing the costume and to remove it if he seems uncomfortable.
Who to Call in an Emergency
You may contact Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic during regular office hours at 952-448-2936. Eden Prairie Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service is available at 952-942-8272 after hours. We hope you don’t need emergency assistance and that you and your pet have a great Halloween.
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