Most pet owners agree that Halloween is a fun holiday to share with their pets–especially since they look fantastic in just the right costume.  However, Halloween also has the potential to be a very dangerous holiday for pets, especially if their owners are unaware of the very real dangers that are often lurking throughout their own houses.  So how can you ensure that Halloween is both enjoyable and safe for your pet?  Read on.

Hidden Halloween Dangers

Most pets are incredibly curious about everything in their environment, and this is where Halloween can get them into trouble.  Following are some basic tips to follow to make Halloween a bit safer for your pet:

● Keep all Halloween candy completely out of reach of your pets–especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol. Chocolate is dangerous because it contains caffeine and theobromine, which are both highly toxic to pets and can lead to an increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and restlessness, among other things. Xylitol is dangerous because it promotes an increase in insulin in the bloodstream, which can lead to a rapid and dangerous decrease in blood glucose levels and hypoglycemia.

● Ensure that your pet is wearing proper identification, including a collar with ID tag and a microchip. Even if you take great pains to ensure that your pet doesn’t escape through a door that has been opened to trick-or-treaters, it can happen.  With identification they can be reunited with you quickly.

● Make sure lit candles and jack-o-lanterns are kept out of reach.  Curious noses and lit candles are never a good mix.

● Only use pet costumes that fit properly, are comfortable, and don’t interfere with their ability to see, hear, breathe or move.  It’s best to acquaint pets with costumes well before they have to wear them for several hours straight, and make sure they are never left unsupervised while in costume.

● Never put glow sticks or glow jewelry on or near your pets. Despite the fact that the liquid in glow sticks and glow jewelry is rarely toxic, it’s just best to be prudent and keep them away from your pets.

● Try to keep your pet indoors as much as possible, and always on a leash when out with you.  Keeping your pet indoors as much as possible during Halloween can help limit their exposure to strange and potentially dangerous things.

Be safe and have fun!