October is finally here! It’s my favorite time of year and Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved Halloween. I loved the ghoulish decorations, costumes, and of course, candy. While I can’t say candy still motivates me the way it once did, I still relish decorating the house and getting dressed up.
While my dog Oski likes dressing up (or at least is a good sport) and loves trick-or-treating with his family, not all animals enjoy Halloween. In fact, many animals are downright terrified by the holiday. In addition to being scary, Halloween can be dangerous to our pets, with candy and decorations being common household hazards.
The spooky decorations, eerie noises, ghoulishly dressed little people ringing doorbells and yelling “trick-or-treat” can be frightening to our pets. If you have a nervous, shy or easily frightened pet it is best to keep them inside your house and away from the door. Likewise, if your pet is very protective, keep your pet safely secured inside the house. Sadly, many frightened pets get lost during Halloween every year when they dart out of an open front door or escape from their yard. It’s best to give your pet a treat and keep them safely away from the commotion in a back room.
Scary trick-or-treaters aren’t the worst hazard to our pets. Candy is probably the biggest danger. As most people, know chocolate is toxic to our pets and can be fatal. However, it’s not just chocolate that we have to watch out for. Candy with xylitol, like sugar-free gum, is also vey dangerous to pets. Xylitol causes insulin release and low blood sugar levels and can lead to liver failure. Be sure to keep all Halloween candy away from your pets. If your pet manages to steal some candy, immediately call your veterinarian for help or take your pet to a veterinary emergency clinic.
Halloween decorations can be another big danger to our pets. Flickering candles, jack-o-lanterns, and twinkling lights don’t just capture our attentions, pets are curious by nature and are drawn to these lights as well. Unfortunately, pets can get burned if they get too close to a candle or jack-o-lanterns, or worse, start a house fire. Halloween lights are pretty but can also be dangerous to ours pets. Pets can get tangled in lights, or worse yet, they can get electrocuted if they chew on them.
This Halloween, make it a priority to keep your pets safe and sound. Keep your cats inside if you don’t already do so, and don’t leave your dog outside, especially if they are shy, nervous, or easily frightened by kids, loud noises, and lights. Be aware of common Halloween hazards like candy and decorations. Finally, if your pet doesn’t already have a collar, ID tag and microchip, get these before Halloween just in case your pet gets frightened and runs away during all the spooky commotion.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!