Halloween is fun for the whole family – costumes, candy, decorations, trick-or-treating, and more! However, it’s not always our pets’ favorite day of the year. The first thing to know about Halloween is that it breaks your pets’ routine – and they hate that. Dogs and cats are both creatures of habit, so it’s important to maintain this as much as possible on days like Halloween. Here are our tips to keep your pets safe and happy on Halloween:

Socialize Your Pet Throughout the Year

Some pet owners want to take their dogs with them when they make the rounds during Halloween. If that’s the case, make sure you socialize your dog throughout the year leading up to the big night, not just a week or two before. This will ensure they are comfortable during interactions. Even when your pet is comfortable socializing, keep them leashed when they accompany you and your trick-or-treater. An adult should always hold the animal on a leash and stand on the sidewalk, well away from the Halloween hosts’ doors.

Choose Comfy Costumes

Should you dress up your dog, cat or other pet in a Halloween costume? While costumes do incorporate the pet into the family, it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable. Just as you go out of your way to choose the best costumes for your children, you should go out of your way to choose the best costume for your pet.

The costume should, of course, be pet-safe with no buttons, zippers or toxic substances. Beyond that, the pet must be comfortable and able to see and move freely. If it’s too big, the pet can trip. If the costume covers its eyes and they can’t see, they might get poked or otherwise hurt. These are problems which might lead to bites or worse.

Beware of Candy and Wrappers

Most pet owners know that candy and sugary snacks can make their pets ill — or worse. But beware of candy wrappers, too. If eaten, wrappers can get stuck in your pet’s belly and make them sick. Make sure you store your candy up high and in a cabinet that your pet can’t reach. Remind children not to share their candy with pets, and keep a close eye on kid-pet interactions. Children might not realize the seriousness of such actions.

Control Pumpkin and Corn Decorations

Pumpkin is not actually toxic for dogs and cats. In fact, it’s sometimes included in their diets (in a canned form) as a source of fiber. So if your pet does ingest raw pumpkin you might expect changes in their regularity. But other decorations might prove more dangerous.

Indian corn is not very digestible and could provoke indigestion. Swallowing a cob might even block the intestines, which could be quite serious and may even require emergency surgery. The best and safest bet is to keep your pets away from Indian corn and pumpkin.

Keep Candles, String and Wrapping Paper Out of Reach

Flickering candles can entice your pet to explore, causing burns or worse. Clearly, you shouldn’t let pets near any open flames. Also, keep string and wrapping paper away from pets. It cannot only upset their stomachs, but the items can also wind around critical organs, necessitating emergency surgery.

Make Sure Your Pet Has ID

Identification tags and microchips are the best gifts you can give a pet. And, of course, make sure you keep the information current. Holidays are the busiest times for shelters taking in lost pets. The hustle and bustle of Halloween with the opening and closing of front doors for parties and trick or treaters can lead to the perfect opportunity for pets to escape. A microchip is the best way to ensure you’re reunited with a lost pet!

We hope you and your family have a safe and fun Halloween! If you have questions or concerns, our team is here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions!