1. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Indoors is certainly better than outdoors on Halloween, but even if you decide to keep your pet home your door will still be constantly opening and closing, and strangers will be on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. Pets are often frightened by the vibrant children’s clothing and voices. They may try to escape or exhibit unexpected aggression. Putting your dog or cat in a secure crate or room away from the front door will reduce stress and prevent them from fleeing into the night.
2. Keep glow sticks away from pets.
While glow sticks can help keep people safe on Halloween night, they can add some unwanted drama to the holiday if a pet chews one open. “Thankfully, the liquid inside glow sticks is non-toxic, so it won’t actually make pets sick,” says Dr. Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD, “but it does taste awful.” Pets who get into a glow stick may drool, paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. Coates recommends that if your pet does chew on a glow stick, “offer some fresh water or a small meal to help clear the material out of the mouth.”
3. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
While small amounts of corn and pumpkin can be fed safely to many pets, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy Halloween pumpkins or corn displays can cause big problems. Gastrointestinal upset is a possibility whenever pets eat something they aren’t used to, and intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed. Dr. Coates adds that “some types of mold produce mycotoxins that can cause neurologic problems in dogs and cats.” So, keep the pumpkins and corn stalks away from your pets. And speaking of pumpkins …
4. Watch for dropped candy.
If you take you pets along for the ride, don’t forget that there may be pieces of candy on the ground along the way. Kiddos may drop candy that they can’t find in the dark, or they may not even know when it falls out of their baskets. While we may not even notice the lost treats, our pets almost certainly will find it.
5. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.
If you do decide that your pet needs a costume, make sure it isn’t dangerous or simply annoying to your pet. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. Dr. Coates warns that pets that are dressed up should always be supervised just in case something goes wrong.
6. Check their ID’s.
Just like any other night, the possibility of an escapee is very real. Collars and tags are ideal if a someone is able to collect your lost pet, but microchips are your best bet to having your pet returned to you. Just make sure the information is up-to-date. Halloween can be used as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports your pet’s microchips.