Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

The spookiest holiday of the year is just around the corner. While you're buying candy and finishing costumes, don't forget your pets. Halloween should be for trick or treating, not emergency trips to the veterinary clinic!

Here are three tips to keep your pets safe this coming week:

Keep chocolate and candy out of reach.

Most people know how dangerous chocolate can be for animals, but candies can also contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Both are poisonous (even lethal) when ingested by pets. Vomiting, lethargy, seizures, panting, and a racing heart rate are all symptoms of chocolate or xylitol poisoning. If your pet gets into the candy bowl, call your vet right away.

Keep pets away from the door.

Unfamiliar sounds and activity can overwhelm even the calmest of pets. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, make sure you know where your cat or dog is at all times. It's so easy for a small animal to slip right through, especially when you're distracted. Before the doorbell starts ringing, confine pets in a secure room or keep them on a leash. Update contact information on collars and microchips if you haven't already.

Be careful of decorations and fire hazards.

You don't want to have to pull out the fire extinguisher on Halloween. Keep jack-o-lanterns away from animals. Better yet, look into using flameless candles. Other Halloween decorations can cause problems too. A curious animal will chew and play with streamers, decorative corn, glow sticks, or fake cobwebs—all of which can lead to GI upset, choking, or foreign body obstruction. Yikes!