Wildlife Wednesdays: Halloween Pet Safety Tips | weatherology°
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By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Feb 7th 2022

Wildlife Wednesdays: Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween is a fun time for both kids and adults with decorations, trick-or-treating, and lots of yummy candy! It can also be a dangerous holiday for your pets as they can get into candy, decorations, or escape outside. Here are some great tips to keep everyone happy and safe. 

1. Keep the candy out of reach of pets 

Candy, especially chocolate, is toxic to your pets, and even sugar-free candy containing xylitol can cause serious problems to your pet. If you think your pet has ingested chocolate, or something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

2. Halloween Decorations

This is the time for pumpkin carving and making jack-o-lanterns, but pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire, especially curious little kittens. Make sure those lit pumpkins are out of reach of wondering cats and dogs. The best tip is to just use an artificial light or candle to light up those pumpkins. Of note, pumpkins and corn decorations are not toxic to your pets, but they could cause stomach discomfort. 

3. Costumes

We love to dress our animals up for Halloween, but only do so if they love it, as for some pets this can cause lots of stress. If you decide to dress up your pet, make sure the costume does not limit their movement, sight, or ability to breathe. Check the costume for any choking hazards. Also, ill-fitted costumes can lead to pet injury. 

4. Keep your pets calm and identified

Trick-or-treaters will be coming all evening and night to your door. If you have social pets that like to join you for passing out candy, keep a close watch on them and make sure they're continuing to stay safe. Dogs and cats will try to escape outside as the door opens each time.  Most animals should be kept in a separate room, away from the front door during peak Halloween hours. ALWAYS make sure your pet is wearing proper identification, whether that is wearing a collar with ID tag and/or microchipped. 

5. Black Cats

It is even hard to write this as black cats can be a target for Halloween. ALWAYS KEEP BLACK CATS INSIDE DURING HALLOWEEN. Sadly, there are sadistic people who think it is fun to harm, torture, and even kill black cats due to superstition and tall tales. To be even safer, keep your black cats inside leading up to Halloween. Not just black cats, but a cat out on the street at this time is not only at risk of being abducted, but also at risk of being scared and panicked by children wearing strange costumes, who may shout at your cat without meaning it real harm.