Treats for everyone!
Many human treats on Halloween are toxic to pets. It’s commonly known that chocolate in all forms is toxic but dark and baking chocolates are richer in the ingredient theobromine and thus more toxic. Also, beware of sugar-free candies that have the sugar substitute xylitol as this is extremely toxic to pets. Candy wrappers can also be very dangerous if ingested. Large quantities can become a foreign body that may require surgery.
Buy, bake or freeze some extra special treats for your furry friends to enjoy and distract them from tempting dangers like the candy bowl. Plan something that can keep your pet occupied for an extended period; a dog may enjoy a Kong frozen with peanut butter inside, and a cat would enjoy a treat ball filled with their favourite kibbles to roll around a secured room.
Secure and easily identifiable
Only the most social and well-behaved pets should be allowed unsecured in a home on Halloween night. Pets can be crated or secured in a safe room, given treats and toys to stay occupied while the Halloween festivities are happening. Dogs can be leashed or kept behind a gate to ensure they do not bolt out the door when trick or treaters arrive. Let’s not forget about our feline friends, they can be pretty sneaky and might slither out the door when you least expect it!
It is critical to ensure all your pets have proper, up to date identification. It can be in the form of ID tags on their collar, licensing tags from HRM, and a microchip from your veterinarian. This is a good safeguard to have in place because pets can get spooked by loud noises or scary costumes and run off if given a chance.
Costumes are fun… for some.
Dressing up our pets can be lots of fun for us, but it’s also important to ensure it’s fun for your pet too. If your pet stiffens up or tries to wiggle out of their costume; they might be trying to tell you they are uncomfortable. Listening to your pet is important! Try a Halloween themed banana or allow them to wear their “birthday suit” instead.
Even if your pet enjoys dressing up, there are a few safety guidelines to follow. Remove any small dangling pieces that could easily be chewed off. The costume cannot limit the pet’s movement, ability to see, breath or open their mouth. It’s best to ensure there is approximately a two-finger gap between the costume and your pets’ neck. All velcro, elastics and ties should be loose and not rub on your pets’ body.
Keep your pets calm
If you are worried the Halloween festivities will stress your pet, there are steps you can take to try and reduce their stress. To minimize some of the common stressful outside noises leave music on for your pets, prevent the use of the doorbell and try to reduce knocking on the door by watching for trick or treaters approaching the door.
You can use safe, natural calming agents like Bio-Calm, Feliway, and therapeutic grade essential oils. There are also safe synthetic calming agents like the Adaptil line for dogs. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about these and other calming agents.
Written By: Full Circle Veterinary Alternative Inc.