Halloween Pet Safety Tips
Howl-o-ween is almost here and we want to share several tips to keep your pets safe on the spookiest night of the year! First, don’t leave your pups in the car if you’re taking your kids trick-or-treating. It should go without saying but sometimes accidents happen. 💚🙏🏽 Better yet, leave them home with their own treats! Because our pups will need walks on Halloween, we have these recommendations to keep them safe:
- Walk your pup while it’s still light out if you can.
- Always keep them on leash with their collars and ID tags.
- Don’t leave them alone in your backyard or roaming Too much room for mischief.
- Watch out for Halloween/Fall decorations: don’t let your pets eat them!
- Walk with a flashlight to illuminate the ground and prevent your dog eating any “goodies”
Halloween candy hazards for pets:
Remember that eating candy can cause diarrhea or vomiting, and that chocolate and sugar-free candies with xylitol can cause very serious problems for your pets.
Ingesting a lot of hard candy can potentially cause obstructions, and eating packaging and foil wrappers can cause choking or intestinal blockage.
You also want to be careful with snack bags: dogs can asphyxiate with them. Keep your chip, snack, and cereal bags out of their reach!
Finally, if you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
As far as pet Halloween costumes go:
- Make sure their costumes don’t obstruct their senses- eyes, ears, noses.
- Avoid loose hanging garments that can get in their way. Make sure the costumes fit and make room for leashes!
- Make sure to use reflective items if you’re going out at night.
- Make sure the materials are inflammable if you’re going to be around fire.
- Always wear collars and tags (and microchip those pets!)
- Take a flashlight on your walk to make sure pets don’t eat candy on the floor.
Here’s the in-depth version:
It’s important to ease your pup into wearing a costume. (We won’t even get into putting costumes on cats here- that’s its own adventure!). You don’t want to surprise them with such an alien experience on the same day you take them around groups of rowdy kids, even if socially distancing. Reinforce the costume with treats and praise, and never force a dog who is uncomfortable to wear a costume.
Choose your costumes wisely. Avoid costumes with strings or bits of metal or materials a dog can eat. Some metals like lead and zinc are poisonous to them, and other materials can cause obstructions. It’s just not worth it!
Costume material also matters, especially here in Miami, where it’s sooo hot and humid, even at night. Some materials hold more heat than others. Be observant- if your dog is panting too much, get them out of their costume.
They must be comfortable in their costumes or else it’s only enjoyable for you. Dogs should be able to eat, walk, drink, see, and hear freely. And you must consider the behavioral implications of wearing a costume! A costume covers up fur and other ways dogs communicate. Clothing restricts them and may make them feel uncomfortable and act unlike themselves.
A costume covers up fur and other ways dogs communicate. Clothing restricts them & may make them feel uncomfortable & act unlike themselves. First time in a costume? This could affect the way they socialize. Again, be observant, make sure you listen to your pup’s cues, and get them out of their costume if they’re uncomfortable. Opt for a non-toxic colored hair spray made for pets if you think (or know) your pup would be anxious.
We hope you take these Halloween pet safety tips to heart and have a wonderfully spooky and fun Halloween! We’ll see you at this weekend’s events: Paws4You’s yearly Howloween fundraiser at Pinecrest Gardens, and Kush Coconut Grove’s Halloween Yappy hour!
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.