Halloween is just around the corner and as much fun as it can be for both adults and kids it can be a stressful time for your pet. Here’s our quick guide to making this Halloween as stress-free as possible for your dog or cat this year.
Keep your pet in a secure area.
Handing out candy to the neighborhood kids means your front door may be open much more than usual, giving your pet many more opportunities to escape. Many cats and dogs aren’t used to being outside alone, especially in urban areas, and may get easily lost or injured. Help them to stay safe by keeping them in a secure room until the evening’s festivities are over and make sure they’re wearing their nametags just in case they manage to sneak out.
Try to make a quiet space for them.
Pets are used to routine, and many find sudden changes stressful. Increased noise can be particularly alarming to some pets, try to create a quiet space for your animals and make time to give them plenty of reassurance. It’s important to remember that all animals respond differently to stress, and your normally friendly pet may become agitated or even aggressive in highly stressful situations.
We all know how cute pets can look in costumes, but there are a few things to consider if you dress your dog or cat up this Halloween.
Is your pet unhappy?
Some pets just don’t like it, if your dog or cat shows any sign of discomfort you should remove the costume as soon as possible. Stressed out pets are unhappy and unpredictable.
Are they too hot?
Many dog breeds have issues controlling their body temperature; make sure your pet isn’t getting too hot in their costume. Keep an eye out for the early signs of heat stroke, which can include excessive panting, drooling, increased heart rate and excessive thirst.
Is their movement restricted?
Pets hate to have their movement inhibited, and it may cause balance problems for cats who like to jump and climb. No one wants their pets to get injured, to prevent this make sure all your pets limbs can move freely, including their tail.
Can they easily eat any parts of it?
This may sound silly, but pets are renowned for eating things they shouldn’t and this can often lead to the need for emergency surgical removal. Check frequently to ensure your pet isn’t chewing their way through their new outfit.
Pets are allergic to some favorite human treats, here’s a quick guide to foods not suitable for your pet this Halloween.
Candy often contains Xylitol, a natural sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs. Even a small amount can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in your pet and will need urgent medical intervention. Large amounts have been known to cause liver failure. Keep candy out of reach to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy.
Chocolate contains methylxanthine and is found in higher amounts in dark chocolate. It’s poisonous to both dogs and cats, and the reaction can vary depending on the size of your pet and the amount consumed. Symptoms of methylxanthine poisoning include vomiting, hyperactivity, restlessness, increased heart rate, seizures and collapse. Severe cases can result in death. Avoid feeding your pets any chocolate and keep it in an out of reach place so they can’t help themselves. If your pet does eat chocolate, it’s vital to get medical advice from your vet as soon as possible.
If you don’t want your pet to miss out on Friday, there’s plenty of Halloween-themed treats available specifically made for cats and dogs. Or if you have some free time we found these great pet treat recipes on the ASPCA website.
For more information on items that are poisonous to pets take a look at our new Toxins page, it has a list of 350 items that you may not realize are poisonous to your four-legged friend. If you’re concerned that your pet has eaten something poisonous, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline on 800-213-6680.