10/03/2019 Lincoln, R.I.
It’s Halloween season, and many children and adults look forward to enjoying this spooky tradition. But Halloween can be overwhelming and hazardous for dogs and cats. Unfamiliar noises, smells and people in costumes can startle pets, and their normally safe home can suddenly pose safety risks.
Here are four tips for keeping pets safe this Halloween from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
Stash the treats
Chocolate in all forms – especially dark or baking chocolate – can be dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also make them extremely ill. If you suspect your pet may have eaten something toxic, call your veterinarian immediately.
Choose safe decorations
Some decorations can make your pets, especially cats, nervous or frightened, and can cause them serious injury. Pets who get too close to a lighted jack-o-lantern can burn themselves or cause a fire. And chewing on the cord of an electrical decoration can cause a shock or burn.
Be careful with costumes
Make sure pet costumes fit properly and are comfortable. Don’t have pieces that can be chewed off or interfere with their sight, hearing, breathing, eating or moving. Never leave pets unsupervised while wearing costumes.
Keep pets away from the front door
Strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets, so keep cats and dogs in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door, be sure that pets don’t dart outside, and always make sure they’re wearing identification in case they do escape. Collars with tags and microchips will help get your lost pet returned to you.