Trick or Treat...Smell my FeetIt’s that time of year… Acorns are falling from the trees, seasonal brews are brimming, and bags of candy are spilling out of shopping carts. Fall in North Carolina simply cannot be beat, but there is one event your pet may be dreading. Halloween pet safety is a major concern this time of year, but with our guide, your pet will remain safe, content, and relaxed.

The Day of the…Dread

Halloween is fun, but not for everyone. Sure, some pets are at ease with the constant doorbell ringing, unpredictable shrieking, and strange scents, but they’re an exception to the rule. Indeed, noise anxiety can be so intense for animals, their general wellbeing is at stake. Don’t let this happen to your pet! To ease the suffering, try these Halloween pet safety tips:

  • Thoroughly exercise your pet prior to dusk. This will get out any Halloween jitters and lead to a calmer evening.
  • Create a quiet space for your pet to relax in during peak trick-or-treating hours. Provide fresh water, snacks, cozy bedding, toys, soft lighting, and low music (or turn on the television) to filter out other noise.
  • If your pet can handle Halloween, consider keeping him or her on a leash when opening the door to dole out candy. This will prevent your pet from dashing outside on a potentially dangerous, dark evening.
  • Make sure your pet wears a reflective collar with ID tags, and that your microchip information is up to date.

Halloween Pet Safety Precautions

Halloween regularly ushers in pets that have been accidentally poisoned via candy consumption. Chocolate, Xylitol-sweetened goodies, and treats with macadamia nuts or raisins are typically to blame. Place your bowl of confections out of reach, and do not allow your pet to have access to any candy in your home.

We also advise leaving candlelit jack-o’-lanterns outside, and be cautious about any interior decor. Wreaths with small plastic berries, decorative corn, string lights, or other electronic items can pose real health risks to your unassuming pet.

A Word on Costumes

Dressing up is part of the fun, but your pet may have other ideas about donning a wig, shoes, or bodysuit. A good rule is to give your pet plenty of time to warm up to the costume, slowly convincing him or her that trying it on is not going to cause illness or injury.

Many pets are content with a simple bow tie, bandana, or snazzy collar (you could even provide a special hair-do to mark the occasion!). Others may endure a costume, but only if it’s flexible and comfortable.

Your pet should be able to breathe, vocalize, eat, move around, go to the bathroom, and generally just go about his or her day without any restrictions. Any loose or dangling components should be trimmed to reduce the risk of choking and entanglement. Please watch for any signs of stress, and remove your pet from crowds of people and other pets if you notice he or she is unhappy.

As always, our veterinarians and staff are here for you and your pet. From all of us at Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center, we wish you all a very happy, safe Halloween!