Since we’re in the thick of October, many of us are probably gearing up for the pinnacle of the season: Halloween. Since Halloween is only in a few days, there is still so much to consider. Some of us might be thinking about last-minute costumes – either for us or our kids, whether they’re human or animal. Others may still be thinking decorations. And still, there are probably some of us racing out to the grocery store for deals on candy since, mysteriously somehow, all the candy we bought in preparation of trick or treaters got eaten…
Regardless of how we are celebrating the last few days, I have a question for the pet parents reading this. Who’s taking their best boy trick or treating this year? Show of hands. Well, while this is the perfect season to get our pets in on the festive fun, there is still some stuff we need to consider. And that would be our pets’ mental and physical well-being.
Below, you’ll find some tips and suggestions on how to make sure that you’re able to have fun with your pet, while still ensuring that your pet stays nice and safe through the holiday.
1. Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy. While kids should be limited to their fill of Halloween candy for health reasons, pets should most definitely be kept away from the plastic Jack o’ Lantern candy stash since nothing in there will be of any benefit to them – in fact most of it will probably be poisonous, especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum)
2. Make sure your pet is properly identified. This means making sure that your pet – whether they’re a dog or cat – have proper ID as in microchip, collar and ID tag. This is just incase they end up making a great escape through the open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters. As pet parents, we all like to think that we’ve got an eye on things, and while you probably do, it doesn’t hurt to make sure your pet or pets are prepared for worst-case scenario just in case.
3. Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets. This is an obvious one as whiskers and fur catch fire so easily. And if they don’t, they can easily be knocked over.
4. Costume safety. If you plan to put your pet into a Halloween costume, do your homework first. Pets in costumes can be so incredibly adorable, but at the same time, you want to make sure that whatever they’re wearing fits properly and is comfortable. On top of that, you want to make sure that the costume doesn’t have any pieces that can easily be chewed off. In addition, you want to be sure that the costume doesn’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. In fact, your best bet it to get your pet accustomed to their costume prior to Halloween. And even once they’re used to it, take extra precaution and don’t ever leave your pet unsupervised while they’re wearing the costume.
5. Properly store glow sticks and other glow jewelry away from your pets. While these liquid products aren’t exactly toxic, they do taste horrendous, plus they make your pets salivate a lot and act strangely.
6. Proper pet care. If your pet is wary of strangers or has a biting tendency, then it would be wise to place them in another room during trick-or-treating hours and give them a safe place to hideout.
7. Keep your pet inside. While it sounds like a no-brainer, a lot of pet parents don’t. And to be honest, this is more geared towards the cat owners of the pet parent group. Given that Halloween can sometimes be seen as the night of witches and other lore, cats – particularly black cats – can sometimes fall prey to people with nefarious agendas for the evening. Your best bet is to keep your pet inside, in a nice quiet room away from all the hustle and bustle so they can just ride out the night in peace. Plus, dog owners can also do that same, simply because there is no point in getting your dog worked up and stressed out for the evening. My point is just to take care of your pets and keep them safe inside the house.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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