Halloween can be a fun-filled holiday for children and adults, but scary costumes, decorations, and treats can be frightening and even dangerous for dogs and cats.
For a pet safe Halloween and to help pet owners avoid the real-life nightmare of a vet visit during the witching hour, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) offers guidelines for a pet safe Halloween.
“Halloween can be filled with more dangerous tricks than treats for our pets,” says Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center.
“While it might sound fun to involve your pets in the festivities, pet owners should know that not all traditions are safe or fun for dogs and cats."
Be mindful of the dangers that could spook or injure your pets and take the necessary steps to keep them out of harm’s way.”
Trick-or-treating is for kids, not pets. During trick-or-treating hours it is best to keep pets in a room away from all the excitement at the front door. A constantly ringing doorbell and flurry of strangers in scary outfits can be frightening for pets.
"Be sure that your pet has ID tags should he or she accidentally get loose,” adds Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA Adoption Center. “Halloween brings a constant stream of visitors to the door, and pets can easily slip out unnoticed.”
Making sure your pet is always wearing a collar with ID tags and is micro-chipped can greatly increase the chances they will be returned home if lost.
If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful products and you need emergency advice, please consult your veterinarian or call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 (a fee applies) or www.aspca.org/apcc.
For more tips on a pet safe Halloween, visit ASPCA's Top 5 Tips For a Safe Howl-o-ween.