Fall is a crazy time for pets. First the kids go back to school, then come all the holidays that stir up your pet’s familiar routine. Now that it’s October, kids in costumes galore will be hitting the streets before you know it, ready to collect their loot. That means more potential stress and dangers for your pets, but there are great ways for both you and your pet to enjoy Halloween.
Safety first — Put pets in a quiet room away from the commotion to reduce their stress and chance of escape. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID and rabies tags in case he does escape with the trick-or-treaters. Microchipping your pet is recommended as an added precaution, since a lost pet with a microchip has a greater chance of being reunited with its owner. Also, it’s best to keep cats indoors and away from people who may be out to play a mean Halloween prank.
Pet-friendly Halloween decorations — Instead of an open flame in the jack-o’-lantern, opt for battery-powered, kid- and pet-friendly pumpkins. Open-flame candles and pumpkins with lit candles are especially dangerous because a pet’s fur can catch fire. Don’t let your pet chew or eat things like crepe-paper streamers; these are often colored with water-soluble dyes that will discolor your pet’s mouth and can cause an upset stomach.
A few additional tips:
Trick for Treats – Let your pet do a little trick-or-treating himself! Keep treats handy to positively reinforce good behavior when trick-or-treaters come around. If your pet is the anxious type, distract him by practicing new tricks to keep his mind productively busy.
Play dress-up – Halloween is a fun time to attach a pair of bunny ears to your pet and see how many photos you can snap before he inevitably paws them off. If you decide to dress up your pet, be sure the costume isn’t too small or restrictive. For pets that are uncomfortable wearing costumes, look for a Halloween-themed collar.
No candy! – Candy, especially chocolate, is a big no-no for pets as it has adverse affects on the central nervous system and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure that you keep your candy bowl far out of reach of your pets.
Is your pet going to participate in any Halloween activities?
Don’t forget to check out our October 2009 giveaway! Post a photo of your pet in a Halloween costume. Details.