Halloween Hazards

Halloween Hazards

Halloween Hazards – What to look out for this Holiday

Halloween is a fun time of year with the dazzling array of costumes, trick-or-treaters trekking door to door around neighborhoods collecting more candy than they will ever eat, scarecrows, skeletons, haunted houses, and much more! While it might be you or your children’s favorite holiday, your pets might think otherwise about these spooky surprises. Read on for tips and tricks to keep Halloween fun for your pets too!

  • Trick or Treat! – While many of us would choose “treat” in this scenario, our pets do not have quite the same options! Food items are a more obvious Halloween pet hazard that can quickly turn a fun holiday into an animal emergency. Make sure that your pets do not have access to any of the treats meant for the trick-or-treaters visiting your home.
    • Consumption of chocolate can put your pet at serious risk and cause toxic effects.
    • Xylitol, an artificial sweetener commonly found in some sugar-free candies, gum, and treats, is another hazard for pets around Halloween time.
    • Since determining what candy contains what ingredients, it is best to just avoid giving your pet candy or treats altogether and stick with treats made just for your pets.
    • If your animal eats food containing chocolate, xylitol, or other potential toxin, call your veterinarian, the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 right away for an action plan and what to do next.
  • Decorations – Some of our spooky decorations may put our pets at risk or cause undue stress.
    • If your animal likes to chew, be cautious of additional lighting, wires, or cords that may be within their reach
    • Also, keep stuffing, string, or other materials out of reach to prevent a potential trip to the hospital!
  • Costumes – often the most exciting part of Halloween is seeing the many creative costumes!
    • Some animals can tolerate wearing a pet costume with no problem, but be mindful of their wellbeing. If they start to seem stressed or uncomfortable remove the costume immediately and give them a break, or retire the costume until next year.
    • If your animal loves to dress up for Halloween, be sure that the costume is not too tight and watch for parts that your furry friend can chew off or swallow, like buttons or loose string
  • Visitors – many homes will be expecting plenty of visitors this season, including family, friends, and trick-or-treaters!
    • Even if your pet is the neighborhood celebrity, keeping an eye on them could be a good precaution with new people coming to the house throughout the evening. Not everyone is comfortable being around animals, and not all children know how to appropriately interact with them. While your pet might not have any problem with visitors, your guests may feel more comfortable this way.
    • If your pet is not comfortable or gets stressed easily with company, it would benefit both you and your pet to restrict them to one place in the house that is quiet and calm where they can feel safe. Do not feel bad about excluding them from the activities, they will probably thank you for it!

With these tips you and your pets can be safe, feel comfortable with little to no stress, and most importantly have fun this Halloween!