veterinarianThe leaves are changing, the air has cooled, and is tinged with the smell of wood smoke. Everywhere you turn there are carved pumpkins on the porches, spooky cobwebs in the trees, and bags of candy disappearing off the store shelves. There’s no doubt about it, Halloween is right around the corner.

While you and your family are getting ready for a night of costumed fun, Halloween festivities can have some serious consequences for our pets. Not only does your pet potentially have access to more toxic foods this time of year, his or her risk of injury increases as well. Help keep your pet happy, calm, and safe this year with our Halloween pet safety tips.

Halloween Pet Safety 101

  • If you haven’t microchipped your pet yet, we strongly encourage you to do so. With the constant opening and closing of doors and gates, as well as any other distractions, your pet may accidentally (or purposely) escape. Besides the microchip, make sure he or she is wearing a collar with up to date ID tags at all times.
  • Trick or treating is the most stressful part of Halloween for many pets. Keep your pet in a safe, quiet part of the house that night, and make use of fans, music, or TV to drown out the sound of the doorbell.
  • Speaking of trick or treating, be sure to keep all candy out of your pet’s reach. Common ingredients in many Halloween treats, such as chocolate, Xylitol, or raisins, are poisonous to pets.
  • A costumed pet is undeniably cute, just be sure that wearing a costume doesn’t make your pet visibly anxious or uncomfortable. Pet costumes should be properly fitting, not restrict your pet’s breathing or vision, and have no small or dangling parts that could be chewed off and pose a choking hazard.
  • Dangling decorations, electric cords, and animatronic displays should be kept away from pets, as they pose a risk of entanglement or electrocution.
  • As wonderful as candles and lit Jack-o’-lanterns are, an enthusiastic tail wag or paw swipe can easily knock one over, posing a danger of fire or injury to your pet. Choose battery-operated lights instead, or keep pumpkins where pet’s can’t reach them.
  • Unfortunately, some people still think Halloween is an occasion for harming animals. Keep pets indoors during the week leading up to Halloween and a few days after.

We hope you have found our Halloween pet safety tips helpful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any other questions or concerns you may have. Happy Howl-o-ween, from the veterinarians and staff at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital!