Halloween can be a little spooky for pets. Trick-or-treat strangers coming to the door all night, the bowl full of chocolate, creepy decor... it's no wonder that some pets can be more than a little overwhelmed.
Pets who are more nervous will appreciate a quiet space with food, water, and possibly a litter box near by. Offer a special toy, puzzle, or chew toy to be a healthy outlet for any nervous energy. Keep the door closed to ensure you don't have any escape attempts in the chaos of the frightful night. Cats, especially black ones, should be kept indoors as there are some mean people who might harm them and other small pets.
BaxterBoo.com carries a variety of products to soothe anxiety. These are great to have on hand for any holiday or strenuous situation. Anxiety wraps, chews, drops, and Thundershirts for cats and dogs can make a huge difference in your pets' comfort levels (and yours!)
Fido and Fifi may look adorable in their costumes, but make sure you let them wear them before parties or outings to ensure there are no issues with the costume, and that your pet gets to associate fun with wearing the costume. If they just simply look miserable, take a picture, submit it to our photo contest, but be sensitive to your pet's needs. Many pets love the attention the costumes get them, but for those that don't, please respect that for improved pet-person relations.
Party guests may think it is fun to invite your pet to partake of food, and other unhealthy substances. Pets do not metabolize drugs or alcohol like humans. In fact, these substances are toxic to animals. Therefore, if anyone tries to "party" with your pet, do not hesitate to ask them to leave. It may be awkward, but it will save you an expensive trip to the vet and possibly the life of your pet.
Keep candy out of reach of pets to ensure they stay safe. Chocolate and sugar-free candy sweetened with xylitol are toxic to pets.
Monitor any pet in costumes to ensure they don't get caught on decor or come into contact with candles. Beware of cords from decorative items and keep them hidden so pets aren't tempted to chew on them. Cords could also be a hanging hazard, especially while wearing costumes.
For pumpkins lit with candles, watch them to make sure your pet can't knock them over and start a fire. Young kittens and puppies may find flickering lights and candles irresistible, so monitor these things to keep fur from getting singed.
Do not allow pets to wear glow sticks or jewelry. Although these items are considered safe and nontoxic for children, the capsules that keep the chemicals from mixing before use are glass, which are snapped to begin the glow chemical reaction. So if an ambitious pet decides to adopt a glow stick as a chew stick, they could damage their intestines if they ingest the glass.
Some dogs do enjoy being out trick or treating, and may even like wearing their own costumes. Keep in mind that even well-socialized, well-behaved dogs can get overwhelmed with all the strange fiends walking about, so monitor your pup's mood at all times, and keep them on a leash.
Retractable leashes are usually not ideal for walks with lots of people as the cord can get entangled and cause friction burns on the legs of people in the dog's path.
Consider adding reflective tape to your dog's costume, leash and collar. Or try one of our LED lighted collars or leads. Even the glow-in-the dark T-shirts are helpful. This will ensure extra visibility in low-light conditions. Not only does this keep you and your pet safe around cars in the dark, but it might help you monitor any unauthorized candy grabs for sneaky dogs!
Since there are so many variables on Halloween night, ensure your pets' identification tags are up to date on their information. Should something happen where you get separated from your furry friends, proper ID will enable neighbors to contact you should they come across your pet.
Did I miss anything? Please leave your own pet safety tips!