On Halloween, pet safety should be a priority—to protect both animals and humans
Year after year, people across the country head out to celebrate Halloween. And what's not to love? It's the one day a year that we can dress up in ridiculous costumes, eat candy, and pretend we're kids again.
Of course, staying safe is always in the back of our minds on Halloween. If you're a parent, you've probably already set your trick or treat safety rules, purchased reflectors to sew onto your child's costume, and planned to check their candy at the end of the evening.
But what about your pets?
While many people love Halloween, most pets don't. There can be loud noises, lots of people, and confusing costumes—things that can be extremely scary or overwhelming for a dog or cat. Before October 31 this year, take some time to consider Halloween pet safety and how you can protect your furry family members.
5 Halloween Pet Safety Risks That Are Easy to Avoid
1. Open doors
Is your dog or cat an escape artist? Halloween is not the day to take a chance. Every time you open your door to greet trick or treaters, your pet has an opportunity to dart out and never be seen again. Even if your pet normally doesn't escape, you don't want to take any chances—you never know how they'll react when loud, costumed strangers appear at the front door.
Put your pet in a separate room with the door shut for the evening. You may want to put them in a crate, but make it comfortable by leaving them with their bed, toys, and maybe a treat or two. And even though they're locked in a room, be sure they have their tags on and they're microchipped. You never know who might open the door.
Pets have a special way of playing with or chewing things that aren't for them—keep that in mind when you're decorating your house. A lit jack-o-lantern can be knocked over by a wagging tail, or look like a snack to a hungry pup. Also, watch out for electrical cords. They may be necessary for plugging in some decorations, but cats love to gnaw on wires and could even get tangled up.
If you don't already know someone who dresses their pets in Halloween costumes, you will soon. And while pets in costumes can be adorable, dressing up your dog or cat isn't always in their best interest.
Some pets could care less about wearing a costume and go with the flow, but others may get incredibly stressed out and anxious. Pet costumes also bring the possibility of choking or getting stuck on something. When it comes to Halloween pet safety, it may be a better idea to leave the dressing up to the humans.
4. The candy bowl
When you get breaks between trick or treaters ringing the doorbell, you may decide to run to the kitchen or go change the music. However, that's when your dog or cat may see an opportunity to get into your candy bowl.
Keep the candy bowl out of your pet's reach at all times. Chocolate can make dogs incredibly sick, as can xylitol, which is found in sugar-free candy and gum. Even empty candy wrappers are dangerous for your pets to get ahold of, so don't leave any lying around the house.
5. Trick or treating
Going out trick or treating with your kids may seem like a great time to multi-task and get the dog out for a walk, too. Unfortunately, that's usually not a great idea—especially if your pup is sensitive to noises or crowds. There are all sorts of people running around—some who will want to stop and pet your dog—and that can be a lot for your fur baby to handle. You also don't want to put your dog in a situation where they could nip at or bite a child. It's just not worth it.
If you feel 100% confident that your dog can handle a night of trick or treating, suit them up to keep them visible and safe. On Halloween, pet safety can be significantly improved by just making sure they wear reflective tags or a reflective vest. Also, take a flashlight so they can see better (and you can be more visible to passing motorists).
One Thing You Don't Have to Worry About on Halloween
If you have a black cat, you've probably heard a lot of myths surrounding Halloween. The most common warning is that black cats are stolen around Halloween by people who want a novelty pet for the holiday. Experts, however, have noted that there's no evidence to support this claim.
Take the standard Halloween pet safety precautions listed above, and your black cat should be just fine. And don't forget—have a fun and happy Halloween!
Have you ever thought about pet insurance? Call your local Pekin Insurance agent today to learn how easy it is to protect your pet.