The Fall and Halloween season offer endless activities for children and families to enjoy. Pumpkin picking, apple picking, hayrides, maybe even a haunted house tour for the brave souls, but most importantly – Trick or Treating! Many times pet owners feel guilty leaving their furry friend at home only to bark incessantly at knocking trick-or-treaters, because they simply don’t know how to safely bring their pets along. Don’t leave your four legged best friend behind this Halloween season. Follow our pet owner Halloween safety tips to skip the stress and let your dog safely join in the festivities!
1. Always keep an eye on your goody basket: Trick-or-treating candy is not meant for dogs or pets of any kind. All forms of chocolate, even a tiny amount, can be lethal for pets with symptoms ranging from life threatening heart problems (high heart rate and blood pressure), seizures, pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea.
a. Tips: Keep your basket close by. Walk pets on the opposite side of your basket. When waiting for candy, have your dog sit next to you in eye sight so they cannot stick their head in the bowl by accident.
2. Keep pets away from lit jack-o-lanterns: If you come across a house with lit up jack-o-lanterns, keep your furry friend as far away as possible. Curious in nature, dogs can stick their snout inside the pumpkin and get burned, or worse catch their fur on fire. It may be best to avoid these homes altogether.
3. Buy pet-friendly Halloween costumes: Be sure that your pet’s adorable Halloween costume is also practical. Your furry friend must be able to see and move comfortably. Be sure to pick an outfit that does not restrict movement, breathing or vision.
4. Try on your pets’ costume before heading out the door: This will save you tons of time and stress if you get 2 blocks away from your home and realize your pet is extremely uncomfortable.
5. Have your pets’ tags on their collar and visible: If your dog or cat becomes lost on your trick-or-treating adventure, this will significantly increase their chance of being found and returned safe.
a. Tips: Make sure the information is accurate and up-to-date. Even better, have your pets micro chipped as a backup plan, the microchip can never be lost!
6. Practice obedience commands: Do a few obedience command practices before heading out on Halloween night.
7. Use a sturdy collar, harness and leash: Your regular collar and leash may be completely fine for your routine morning walks, but Halloween night draws hundreds out into the neighborhood. Your usually calm canine may become overly excited and start to pull, when this happens they could escape their collar. It is best to use a properly fit harness and practice walking on it a few times before going out to enjoy the fun.
8. Keep pets as calm as possible: Easier said than done, but it is important. There is a lot of activity going on during the peak hours of trick-or-treating and busy neighborhoods could be flooded with hundreds of people and other pets. If your dog gets excited or agitated easily, it may be best to leave them home.
9. Be aware of your pets’ anxieties: Halloween costumes alter the way humans appear. Masks, wigs, makeup and added bulk can scare some dogs invoking a fear response. If you notice your dog’s anxiety has increased within the first few minutes of leaving your home, it may be best to leave them where they feel safe and secure (even at the expense of your matching family costumes).
10. Never leave your pet unattended: Whether you bring your pup out and about, or decide to leave them at home it is best not to leave them unattended.
Pet Owners Halloween Safety Guide
Ambassador Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to the care and safety of all pets. Our top 10 Halloween tips for pet owners will ensure your family and furry best friend have a fun and safe night out. Our comprehensive vet practice offers vaccinations, neutering, spaying, dental cleanings, grooming and more. For more information on our Veterinary Services, browse through our website or give us a call at 201-863-4072.