Tips for a Safe and Happy Halloween!

With our Annual Howl-o-ween Costume Contest on the horizon, we thought we’d share some tips and tricks with you to keep Halloween a fun and safe night for all the members of your family.

1.  Silly puppy, treats are for kids!

A bowl of candy+unsupervised pet=trip to the emergency vet clinic!  One of the most important things to remember on Halloween is to keep any and all candy in a spot where your dog will not be able to access it.  Not only is chocolate a well-known toxin for our pets, but the common artificial sweetener Xylitol is also very toxic.  Small candies and gumballs pose a serious choking threat, too, so make sure your pet is well supervised and kept away from the sweets!

2.  Step away from the pumpkin, and no one gets hurt!

While pumpkin is a delicious digestive supplement that many dogs benefit from, nibbling on the raw rind, leaves or stem can lead to some serious gastrointestinal upset.  Also, carved pumpkins with lit candles be knocked over, causing the surrounding area to catch fire, or painful burns to our curious pets.

3.  Protect your pet from ghouls and goblins!

While our pets are very much a part of our families, Halloween can be a very stressful night for even the most social dog or cat.  The doorbell rings every 5 seconds, masked strangers yell TRICK OR TREAT, and no one actually comes inside to visit- very confusing!  Make sure to keep your pets comfortably confined and unable to dart out the door- Halloween is not the ideal night to be searching for your lost pet!

4.  Can I see your I.D.?

Even if your pet is happily chewing on a bone or snoozing on a comfy bed away from the door, make sure they are wearing a collar with clear and visible I.D. tags.  We hate to think of our pets running off, but with the amount of people and excited energy going around the neighbourhood, our pets are bound to be a little more unpredictable.  It’s better to be safe than sorry, so even if your dog’s costume is his birthday suit, he shouldn’t be bearing all- collar up!

5.  Playing dress-up…

Yes, dogs and cats in costumes are hilarious and adorable.  However, our pets are our friends, and we would never want to push our friends to wear something that is uncomfortable.  While we may love the thought of a little Yoda or taco walking around, we have to keep our pet’s safety and comfort in mind.  If your dog or cat has trouble walking, seeing, hearing or drinking in their costume, it is not the right look for Halloween.  Plush costumes or outfits with pieces that dangle or detach can be dangerous if your pet manages to grab and chew them.

6.  Don’t fence me in!

Having your dog or cat outside while the tick-or-treaters come and go might seem like a safer option, but they will be way less stressed if kept inside.  Also, and we hate to think about it, but many dogs and cats have been taken from secure yards on busy nights like Halloween, some to never be seen again.  And even if you don’t buy into the superstition, many cats, particularly black, go missing around Halloween, so make sure all of your four-legged family members are safe inside with their own special treat.  Leave the spooky and the ghoulish to the two-legged members of your pack!

Keep these tips in mind, and have a safe and Happy Halloween!

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