Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

By Stephanie Meyer, DVM, CVA, Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, but to your pet it can be the spookiest night of the year. Please follow these tips to keep your pet safe this Halloween.

No Tricks-or-Treats: Halloween candy is not for our furry friends. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which dogs and cats are very sensitive to. In general, dark or baking chocolate contains higher concentrations of these pet-dangerous ingredients. Chocolate ingestion can lead to various medical complications and can even be fatal to dogs and cats. If your pet ingests something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435 immediately.

Halloween Pumpkins and Corn: Although pumpkins and decorative corn are relatively non-toxic to our pets, they can cause stomach upset and even intestinal blockages if ingested. Keep these festive decorations away from your pets to avoid a trip to the animal emergency hospital for potential foreign body surgery.

Confinement and Safety: Pranksters can be cruel to animals around Halloween. If you have outdoor pets, please keep them in a confined area (e.g., garage, crate, inside your house) a few days before and after the big night to keep them safe.

Trick-or-Treaters: We love seeing excited children dressed up in their costumes, but they can be downright frightful to our pets. Please keep your pets away from the door to avoid territorial and/or anxious reactions from your animal companions. Keep pets in a secure area away from the front door. This will reduce their stress and also prevent them from dashing out the door into the night.

Halloween Decorations: Many of our decorations have electric cords or candles. Be sure to keep these dangers out of pets’ reach. If an electrical cord is chewed, your pet may suffer from electrical burns or receive a life-threatening electrical shock. A burning candle can not only be dangerous to your pet but also your home if it is knocked over.

Pet Costumes: Not all pets like to be dressed up. Please do not dress your pet in a costume unless you know your pet does not find it annoying. Be sure the costume does not constrict your pet’s movement, vision or hearing. Ill-fitting costumes with dangling accessories can be dangerous to your pet.

Identification: Ensure your pet’s identification is up-to-date. Your pet should have a collar with an identification tag, as well as a microchip with your current contact information. If your animal companion does not have an ID tag and/or microchip, now is the time to get them!

PVH offers comprehensive and 24/7 emergency care. Call 360.568.3113 for appointments. 

Article added 10.9.14