Make Sure Halloween Isn't A Nightmare For Your Pet

The leaves are changing. It's getting darker earlier. The nights are cooler. Halloween will be here in just a few weeks. For us humans, Halloween can be a fun and festive time of the year. For our pets, it can be a nightmare...stressful and dangerous! The very things that we enjoy...candy, scary noises, costumes, trick-or-treaters...can be overwhelming and frightening for our four-legged family members. According to the Humane Society, the top Halloween hazards for pets are escaping and being poisoned.  Here are some ways to make sure the Halloween season is all "treats" and no "tricks"!

1. Before a Zombie knocks at your door, move your pup or kitty to a room where it will feel safe and secure. Do not leave your pets outdoors. Pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. 
2. Keep your outdoor cat inside several days before and several days after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. 
3.  If you are hosting a Halloween party, move your pup or kitty to a room where they are comfortable.  Masks and costumes change how people look and smell to a pet, so even familiar people may become frightening.
4. Are you going trick-or-treating? Leave you pup at home. Dogs can be easily excited by the Halloween commotion. Don't risk ruining the night with a dog bit or a lost pup.
5. Keep candy away from your pet.  Chocolate, especially the dark variety, gum, raisins, and artificial sweeteners can be deadly for our pets.  Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures.  Even small amounts of xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. Make sure children do not give a "treat" to your pet.  
6. If you want your pet to wear a costume, please make sure your pet WANTS to wear a costume.  Your pet needs to be able to see, move, bark/meow, and breathe while wearing it.  Try on the costume before Oct 31st.  If they are uncomfortable or allergic, try using a festive bandana. Add reflective tape to your pet’s costume if they will be out after dark.    
7. Make sure your pet is wearing identification.  Remember, one of the top Halloween hazards for pets is escaping.
8. Keep on hand the number for the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline: 888-426-4435.

Have a happy, and pet-safe, Halloween!