Halloween Pet Safety

Our pets often don’t enjoy this scary season as much as we do! Cats and dogs face a lot of hazards at Halloween including candy, decorations, costumes, and scary situations that may cause them to attempt escape. Our animal hospital in Winter Haven believes Halloween pet safety is of critical importance, so we’ve gathered some safety tips for your reference.

Halloween Pet Safety in Winter Haven: A Dog on a Skateboard Wearing a Witch Hat for Halloween

Don’t Share the Candy

Most Halloween candy is toxic to cats and dogs. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which are difficult to metabolize for both cats and dogs. Consumption of too much chocolate can cause increased heart rate, hyperactivity, and vomiting/diarrhea. Meanwhile, other candies contain a high amount of sugar and fats, which can cause a serious condition known as pancreatitis. Furthermore, xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to pets and can be found in sugar-free candies as well as some peanut butter and baked goods.

Preventing Costume Hazards

Not all pets love to be dressed up. If you do plan on trying a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and has no loose pieces that can get gnawed off. Additionally, you’ll need to give them time to get used to it. Put it on them a few days before Halloween and shower them with lots of praise and treats while they’re wearing it. If they show any signs of discomfort or agitation, take it off and try again after a little while. Keep in mind that some pets are simply not comfortable in a costume, no matter how much praise they receive. In those cases, a festive bandana works just as well!

Avoiding Dangerous Decorations

Decorations alone are not dangerous to our pets — it’s when they start investigating and playing with the decorations that things can get dangerous! Keep all electric cables secured away from curious noses. Pets may take pleasure in chewing on the cords, which could cause a shock. Open flame candles and jack-o’-lanterns are also very intriguing to pets, but are a serious fire hazard and can cause wax burns as well. Place candles well away from wagging tails or use battery-powered alternatives. Other decorations such as corn stalks, cobwebs, etc. can be a danger if your pet ingests any piece of them or if they get tangled in a web. Always supervise your pet around decorations!

Keeping Scary Sounds to a Minimum

Spooky sound recordings, screaming children and a constantly ringing doorbell can cause pets a lot of anxiety. So much so, that they may become frightened and attempt to escape through an open door! Sit outside if you can to pass out candy, as it keeps the door closed and muffles the sound of all your visitors. Additionally, play any recordings outside to avoid filling the house with noises that could terrify your pet. If your pet seems overly anxious, place them in a quiet back room with a favorite toy and talk to your veterinarian about possible anti-anxiety medications or Thundershirts.

Have any questions about Halloween pet safety? Contact our animal hospital at (863) 324-3340 or ask us at your next appointment!

Halloween Pet Safety in Winter Haven: A Cat Looks Inside a Jack-o'-lantern