Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pet

For kids – and kids at heart – Halloween is the spookiest night of the year. However, for dogs and cats, Halloween can be downright scary and stressful. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be when you follow these safety tips from The Dog Market.

Keep pets away from chocolate and candy

Even the smallest piece of chocolate can be harmful to dogs and cats.

That’s because chocolate contains theobromine (also found in caffeine). The human body is able to metabolize theobromine safely, however when dogs/cats ingest theobromine, it metabolizes as xanthine inside the liver. That’s toxic and can lead to symptoms like:

  • Increased heart rate.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Excess vomiting, urination, or diarrhea.
  • Tremors.
  • Incoordination.
  • Seizures.

It doesn’t take much chocolate to harm your dog/cat, either. For example, a 10 lb dog can start to show toxicity from eating just two ounces of chocolate.

It’s not just chocolate, hard candies in particular can pose a choking risk for both cats and dogs.

Distract your furry friend with a new toy

Whether you’ve got a dog or a cat, consider picking up some new toys to keep your pet away from the candy this Halloween.

Some treats of their own will also keep them included in the fun without exposing them to toxic human treats.

If your pet is extremely food-oriented, then it may be tough to keep them out of your Halloween stash. Ensure you:

  • Keep chocolate and candy in high places where your pet can’t reach.
  • When handing out chocolate, keep your pet away from the front door.
  • When your kids dump out their haul, place your pet in another room.

If your dog eats chocolate, follow these steps:

  • Take your dog for a walk to help them purge the chocolate from their system.
  • Get them some grass to eat to help with vomiting.
  • Call your vet.

Reduce Halloween anxiety

Does your dog or cat freak out whenever the doorbell rings? Are they afraid of loud noises?

Well, imagine how skittish they’ll be when the doorbell is constantly ringing. And that doesn’t include other things like:

  • The endless noise and squeals which are naturally part of Halloween
  • Scary costumes which can confuse or frighten your pet
  • Spooky Halloween music or decorations which can cause your pet anxiety.

Add it up and the constant barrage of noise and activity that makes Halloween so much fun can really stress out your pet.

Help your pet cope

What’s your pet’s typical reaction to unknown visitors? If your dog or cat is fairly chill and ignores the front door, you might be able to let them be.

However, if your pet becomes agitated whenever you go to answer the door, you should take the following precautions:

  • Put up a baby gate to separate your pet from the front door area
  • Leave your dog or cat in a back room of the house where they can’t hear the doorbell
  • Engage in active play with your pet to keep them occupied
  • If your dog feels safe in a dog crate or playpen, put them inside.

Having your front door open and closed all night poses a risk for any cats or small dogs who may be looking to “escape” from the Halloween fun.

If your cat or dog tends to run out the front door when it’s opened then consider crating them or putting them somewhere safe, where they can’t run out and get lost on Halloween night.

Walk safely

If you’re planning to take your dog with you as you trick-or-treat with the kids, you’ll want the keep them safe and close by.

It’ll be dark out, which means it’ll be easy to lose sight of your dog should they get off-leash. And with all those excited children running around, your dog may be overly rambunctious or stressed during the walk. Take these extra precautious during your Halloween walk:

  • Ask neighbourhood children not to approach your dog until he or she is calm and comfortable
  • Do not go out if your dog is not wearing an ID tag
  • Use a reflective leash, collar and harness to keep your dog visible or attach a light to your dog’s collar or harness
  • When you notice your dog starting to get tired or freak out, turn around and go home
  • Watch the ground for dropped chocolate, bones, or other things you don’t want your dog to eat
  • If possible, walk your dog before the Halloween festivities begin.

Avoid hazardous pet costumes

It’s always cute to dress up your dog or cat for Halloween, but avoid putting an overly elaborate costume on them. In fact, simpler is better when it comes to dressing up.

Costumes that are very tight-fitting can be uncomfortable. Pets can become tangled in strings, ties, belts, or sashes. And certain masks (especially if originally designed for humans) can simply annoy them (in addition to making it difficult to see). Remember, your pet’s well-being is of the utmost importance:

  • Select a costume that’s easy to put on, take off, and move around in

Have a safe and happy Halloween from The Dog Market

Stocking up on candy, decorating the house, and picking costumes are all part of getting ready for Halloween.

Just make sure you don’t forget about your four-legged family members. You want to make sure they can enjoy Halloween too.

Stop by our storefront before trick-or-treating and give your dog a happy, healthy, safe Halloween too!