October 20, 2020
Rover-Time Halloween Safety Tips
Much like the Fourth of July, Halloween is fun is a holiday for owners but not necessarily for their pets. With the easing of COVID-19 lockdowns, this year will be a little less restrictive than last year, but there are still some precautions you should take. Plus, October is National Animal Safety and Protection Month, so here are some Halloween safety tips to keep you and Fido safe!
The number one thing all children care about during Halloween is, of course, candy! But most candies can cause major digestion issues for your dog. Here are common Halloween candies to look out for.
- Chocolate – contains Theobromine which can be fatal. Darker chocolate has much higher concentrations.
- Candies & Gum – many contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol which is toxic to dogs. Hard candies and gum can also become lodged in your pet’s digestive tract and will require surgery to be removed.
- Raisins – grapes and raisins are toxic and can cause kidney failure.
- Wrappers – on top of possible poisoning from the candy, wrappers can become lodged in your pet’s digestive system.
If your pet consumes any of these items, it’s best to contact your emergency veterinarian right away. A good idea is to feed your pet prior to handing out food/snacks to help limit the temptation of human-only treats. Keep all candy well out of reach and you’ll be good to go. If you’d like to give your dog a holiday snack, try these healthy treat alternatives made of pumpkin and peanut butter (make sure it’s xylitol-free) instead!
We get it, dressing up your dog in a costume is ALWAYS adorable! But be sure that any costume you choose is safe to wear. The costume should be loose around their neck to avoid choking. They should be able to move freely and comfortably. Be sure the costume is free of any low-hanging attachments or fabric that your dog could trip over. Never leave your pet unattended while they are wearing their costume. Other than that, snap away with those Instagram photos so we can all gush over your pet’s cuteness!
If you’re going to be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters this year, the front door is going to be a happening place! If your dog is a bit of a Houdini, try placing a gate at your front door to keep them from escaping. It will also create a barrier between your pet and any unfamiliar children/parents that your dog may react to. Be sure your dog’s collar/harness is on with up-to-date identification in case they manage to dart past you and get outside. If you’re able to keep your dog separate from the front door, either safely in another room or level of the home, this can help alleviate stress from all the strange, new faces that are coming and going. Also, don’t leave your dog or cat outside on Halloween. You’ll be sure to avoid any less than friendly pranksters running around.
While good spooky fun, jack-o’-lantern candles can cause burns if your curious pet decides to go and investigate. Swap out the flame for an electric candle and avoid possible injuries. If your pet is a chewer, be sure to keep glow sticks safely out of reach. Pets often mistake them for chew toys and the chemical inside can cause mouth pain, irritation, and vomiting. While not toxic, the chemical is extremely bitter and contains a high amount of the caustic chemical, hydrogen peroxide, which can irritate their throat and eyes. The plastic casing can also cause intestinal blockage.
Walk while the light is out
If you know your neighborhood tends to have lots of trick-or-treaters, take your dog on a walk while it is still light outside. You’ll be better able to spot any unwanted street treats and steer clear of any stressors.
Armed with these Halloween safety tips, you’re all set to enjoy the scariest (and arguably most fun) holiday of the year!
Brock Casper is the Southwest Region Team Manager for Rover-Time and has been part of the RT team for over two years. Halloween is his favorite holiday and he will undoubtedly binge-watch horror films for the entire month of October with his dog Loki and partner Laurel.