Written by David Gurzak, DVM
The leaves are falling here in Buffalo and West New York, pumpkins are adorning doorsteps, and the air is filled with an air of excitement - Halloween is just around the corner! While it's a thrilling time for us humans, it can be a bit overwhelming for our furry friends. With costumes, decorations, and candy everywhere, it's important to keep our pets safe during the festivities. In this article, we'll share some essential Halloween safety tips to ensure a good time for your cats and dogs.
Choose Pet-Friendly Costumes
If you're planning on dressing up your pet, opt for costumes that are comfortable and safe. Ensure that the costume doesn't obstruct their movement, breathing, or hearing. Avoid costumes with small, detachable parts that could be swallowed, and always supervise them while they're wearing their outfits. And don’t force it - remember, this should be fun for all parties involved! Check out some good examples here.
Jack-o'-lanterns are a quintessential Halloween decoration, but they can pose a danger to your pets. Curious cats and dogs may investigate the flickering light and could accidentally knock over a candle. Instead, consider using battery-operated LED lights for a safer alternative.
Secure Your Sweets Stash
Halloween candy is not for our four-legged friends. Chocolate, xylitol (found in sugar-free gum and some candies), and certain types of candy wrappers can be toxic to pets. Keep all sweets and treats out of their reach and securely stored in a high cabinet or closed container.
Beware of Decorations
Ghoulish decorations can be intriguing to pets, but some of them can be hazardous. Fake cobwebs, glow sticks, and small decorations can pose choking hazards or be harmful if ingested. Keep decorations elevated and out of your pet's reach.
Quiet Time for Nervous Nellies
Halloween can be a noisy and chaotic night, which may be unsettling for some pets. Create a quiet and comfortable space where they can retreat if they start to feel anxious. Provide familiar toys and bedding to help them feel secure. I like to use a crate and situate a box fan next to it to be used as white noise for my older dog, Stanley. Looking for something not-so-scary to do in Buffalo or West NY for Halloween? The Lackawanna Public Library is hosting a "Not-So-Scary Halloween Party." Learn more here.
Keep Them Indoors
With the increased foot traffic and excitement outside, it's best to keep your pets indoors during Halloween night. This will not only prevent them from getting spooked or stressed but also protects them from potential hazards or pranks. Besides, it’s Buffalo: it can often be cold on Halloween! Want to spend some Halloween fun with some animals made for the outdoors? The Hawk Creek Wildlife Center is hosting a Spooky Safari! Check it out here.
ID Tags and Microchipping
Ensure that your pet's ID tags are up-to-date with current contact information. Halloween can be a time when pets may become frightened and bolt. Having a microchip with updated information provides an added layer of security.
Noises and Frightening Costumes
The loud noises and unusual costumes can be frightening for some pets. If your pet is easily spooked, consider using a white noise machine or calming music to drown out the sounds of trick-or-treaters. Additionally, allowing your pet to become familiar with costumes before the big night can help desensitize them.
Halloween can be big fun for the whole family, including our beloved pets. By following these safety tips, you can ensure that your furry companions have a spooktacular time without any scary mishaps. From all of us at North Buffalo Animal Hospital, we wish you and your furry friends a safe and Happy Halloween!