Halloween is a fun time for families, especially for the children. Many cute costumes are available for the loyal pet of the child, creating a fun atmosphere for all. I would like to take this time to remind families everywhere that there are some safety concerns you should give attention to regarding your beloved pets.
First and obviously, know your pet. Some animals are fine with all of the extra attention and activity while others experience increased stress and anxiety. In some cases even the friendliest of animals may act out aggressively when frightened and the increased activity that goes with Halloween could be your pet’s trigger to behavior that they have never displayed before. If your pet shows any signs of anxiety, be sure to remove them from the stress by placing them into a safe quiet room or area where they can be away from the action. If you have a pet that has already let you know that they do not like the extra activity, please be pro-active and place them in the safe area hours before the festivities begin.
If you have a pet that enjoys the attention and activities you still need to be aware of some important safety measure:
Check the costumes: There are many cute costumes on the market today made especially for our four legged friends. If you intend on dressing your pet, first check the costume to make certain that it fits snuggly but not too tight. You do not want the costume falling off of the animal nor do you want your pet to choke on any part of the accessory. Be aware of anything that the animal may chew on and never leave a costumed pet unattended.
Don’t leave glow sticks lying around: These sticks are great for the safety of your children, however they can be a hazard to your pet. Many animals get injured by puncturing the stick and ingesting the material inside. While most (if not all) of these sticks are non-toxic they still may have an adverse effect on your pet.
Keep your pet calm: Even the most friendly and docile pet can get anxious and stressed by attention from strangers and high traffic. Do not forget to reassure your pet that you are with them and occasionally hold them or pet them. This reassurance will help your pet cope with a different activity level then they may be accustomed to.
Guard your candy!: Most importantly keep your children’s goodies away from your pet. Everyone is probably aware that chocolate is hazardous to pets but many may forget about the sweetener xylitol. This sweetener is found in most sugar free candies, gum, baked goods and toothpaste and can be harmful to your pet as well. Always keep the number for your veterinarian close during these times just in case.
Halloween is a fun time that will leave you and your family with many precious memories. Please take a few moments to protect your family pets as you would your children.