Halloween is around the corner, and what is more fun than dressing up your fur kids in hilarious costumes?
Especially now, when we are all home and a little bored, going all out on pet costumes is a fun outlet. Some dogs are patient and don’t mind costumes but it’s not fun for all pets. Here are a few tips to make your Halloween ghoulishly good!
Treats out of Reach!
Getting into the candy bowl might seem like the ultimate prize for your pets but it can have serious consequences aside from a tummy ache. Many Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can cause serious health problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has gotten into candy that could be toxic, call your veterinarian or emergency clinic right away, or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. Better yet, give out alternative treats that are not toxic for pets and less sugar for little humans!
A jack-o-lantern is fun to make and what could be more iconic than an flickering candle in a pumpkin, but pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Dogs might accidentally knock it over but cats and curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by the irresistible lure of a candle flame. Try using a battery powered candle instead, which can give the same spooky effect and keep your pets safe! Halloween decorations such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
We know it is fun to dress us pets, but for some pets, wearing a costume may be very stressful. Unless you know your pet is ok with a costume, it is best to avoid dressing them up. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit their field of vision, is tight, or limits their ability to hear, smell, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Overly large costumes can get twisted and present a hazard. If your pet is accustomed to wearing a coat or sweater outside, consider a Halloween themed sweater instead of a costume-it can be just as cute and can keep both of you happy! A bandana is a great option for pets who really don’t feel comfortable with any kind of costume.
Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or uncomfortable, skipping the costume would be the best thing you can do for your pet.
Halloween means the doorbell, unusual activity and strangers arriving at the door, all of which can be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the door and activity during trick-or-treating hours. If your dog is with you while you open the door and give out candy to little trick or treaters, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t escape and run outside. Even a pet who typically won’t run away will do so when they are frightened or stressed. Keep them on a leash at all times and make sure your pet it wearing proper identification, both a collar with your phone number and a microchip in case they do escape!
If your pet does have extreme stress around Halloween, then ElleVet Calm and Comfort situational chews can be very helpful. These chews are fast acting and are intended for specific, high stress situations.
Hopefully these tips can help you and your pet enjoy Halloween! If you do dress up your pet, we’d love to see a photo!
Stay safe out there💜