Most of us want to involve our pets in all of the action and excitement of our lives; but it’s not always so great for our pets. Consider Halloween. Consider it from a pet’s perspective, to be specific: the doorbell ringing repeatedly; a parade of yelling sugar-fueled “creatures” behind the door; toxic chocolate to find; decorations to get tangled up in; and how about the dreaded pet costume? (OK, I understand that not all pets are shamed by costumes, but I just keep thinking of my daughters’ dog Winky and his look of abject misery when the doggie witch costume comes out of the closet.)
It’s important to keep your pets safe this Halloween by thinking around the holiday excitement, and being aware of the little catastrophes lurking in the night. Here’s a round-up of tips from animal protection groups compiled by consumeraffairs.org:
- Don’t give Halloween candy to dogs and cats. Candy can be harmful to pets and chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets. Candies that have the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs–even small amounts can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and lead to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. Symptoms of chocolate ingestion can include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, and increased thirst, urination and heart rate, and even seizures. See 10 Foods Poisonous to Pets for more information.
- Avoid putting costumes on pets. Many dogs and cats don’t like costumes, and some can confine or restrict their movements. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume doesn’t impair their movement, hearing, sight or ability to breathe or bark. Also check the costume for any choking hazards. A safer alternative is a simple Halloween bandanna.