Keep the treats and banish the tricks this Halloween — at least for your pets. Because while Oct. 31 may be full of candy, creepy decorations and the best movies, the day could turn into a Freddy Krueger nightmare for your four-legged friends.
Here are the top Halloween hazards for your pet, plus some puppy-approved treats so they don’t miss out.
There is no other day during the year filled with more sugar. Great for us humans, but not so much for our four-legged companions. Chocolate, in particular, is extremely dangerous for pets, according to PetMD. If you think your dog has ingested chocolate, look out for vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and seizures. The artificial sweetener xylitol can also pose a danger, including a sudden drop in blood sugar and loss of coordination and seizures.
Contact your veterinarian or emergency pet hospital immediately if you think your pet has consumed something sweet, says the American Veterinary Medical Association.
There’s a variety of Halloween decorations that can harm your pet: wires and electric light cords, shards of glass or plastic, candles and small pieces that can be swallowed. Make sure decor is out of reach and can’t be knocked over or eaten.
We’re not just talking about people costumes here — although be aware that your pet could be freaked out by the parade of creepy trick-or-treaters banging on your door for candy. But let’s discuss the elephant in the room: stuffing your dog in a Halloween costume. Sure, some don’t mind. But others look as if they’ve just entered their own personal hell.
Make sure your pet is one of the former by trying their costumes on before Oct. 31, says the ASPCA. If they’re distressed or allergic to the materials, please don’t put them through more misery. If your dog, however, loves looking like a burrito, just make sure the costume doesn’t restrict his movement, hearing or ability to breathe.
Make sure your pet has proper identification (which should be a given on any day). Halloween is a prime night for losing your four-legged friend. Be careful when taking your dog trick-or-treating and be aware of his whereabouts when opening your door to candy-begging children, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Halloween plants, including pumpkins and corn, can give your pets gastrointestinal problems if ingested in large quantities, says PetMD. Or worse, intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed. And make sure pumpkins with candles are kept out of reach.
Now that your pets are safe and sound, help them get in on the Halloween fun. Here are some dog-approved treats and toys perfect for Oct. 31.