It’s Halloween! Some pet-friendly tips to remember

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Halloween pirate

Make sure costumes don’t restrict movement, sight, or breathing.

It’s Trick or Treat day! Candy! Costumes! Pumpkins!

And safety? How boring.

Or maybe not. Maybe taking the time with a few safety tips will make the fun more fun. Even though we wait for it all year long, Trick or Treat night can be a little stressful whether you’re at home handing out candy or out in the neighborhood with Fido. While I’m writing with dogs in mind, this could apply to any type of pet. Here are some tips to make it a successful night:

  • Keep your pooch away from the candy (and other foods you might have sitting out). Whether you’re handing it out to others at the door or your dog is trying to snack out of your child’s trick or treat bag, candy – especially chocolate – can harm your pet. Gums, mints and other candies can be just as poisonous, so keep an eye on the eats.
  • Be very careful with burning candles inside carved pumpkins, little bags, or other decorations. These can easily get knocked over or bumped by accident resulting in burns or a fire.
  • For many dogs and other animals, a continually ringing doorbell can be stressful. If they want to hide in another room, let them. On the other hand, if the doorbell has whipped them into a frenzy and you can’t get the door open without them being in the way, consider crating them or keeping them contained in another room. You don’t want your dog to run the minute you get the door open or to hurt a child on the porch.
  • Think twice before putting your dog in a Halloween costume. While costumes are cute, make sure you’re aware of how tight or restrictive it is on your pet. Make sure they can move, see,  and breathe normally and that nothing is too tight around their neck. If they weren’t stressed before, an ill-fitting costume might just do the trick.
  • If you take your dog along when taking your kids trick or treating, remember that others might be doing the same, so be sure your dog is on a leash and is kept close to you. This minimizes candy stealing, getting too close to other dogs, or being frightened by other children in the dark.

If you think your pet may have been poisoned by Halloween treats or anything else, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-213-6680. But mostly importantly, have fun! Thinking about a few details ahead of time should make for a really funny evening. Happy Trick or Treat!

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