WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, October 20, 2022 — Halloween is coming soon, which means frightening family fun is just around the corner. Although Halloween is filled with light-hearted tricks and treats, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, wants to help ensure that all of the scares you experience are strictly related to the holiday. Halloween can pose a number of potential safety hazards for our furry best friends, who tend to experience high levels of stress due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday. It’s important to keep safety in mind for every member of the family this holiday—including your pets.
Below are a few tips from American Humane to keep you and your four-legged family members safe and happy:
- Costumes, while cute, can be dangerous for pets. Costume contests are popular around Halloween, and it’s tempting to want to dress up your four-legged friend in one of their own. But if you do choose to dress your pet up, make sure they can move in it comfortably and safely. Avoid costumes that require tying anything around your pet’s neck that can choke them, along with costumes that hang to the ground that they may stumble over. Let your pet be the judge. If they struggle and are uncomfortable, then maybe it’s best to let them stay dressed as a dog rather than a ghost.
- Keep your pet away from harmful Halloween candy and food. Before you give in to your pet’s pleading eyes and feed them that Halloween candy bar, be aware of the harmful consequences of feeding human food to any animal. Chocolate—especially baking chocolate—can be deadly to a dog, so keep all such goodies well out of reach. The other lurking danger during Halloween is a substance called Xylitol. This is a low-calorie sweetener found most commonly in gum and candy. It can be potentially lethal when consumed, even in small quantities. To reduce temptation, feed your pet before any guests arrive so they will be less likely to beg and steal food.
- If nicotine and alcohol will be consumed in your home this Halloween, be extra vigilant to keep these items out of your pet’s reach. These substances can be highly toxic—even deadly—to animals.
- Keep your home a safe space for your pet. Animals can get stressed with the constant flow of guests and trick-or-treaters. It’s best to keep your pets indoors and provide them with a safe, quiet, escape-proof room where they can be removed from the energy and excitement of the holiday. Remember to provide plenty of food and water as well!
- As trick-or-treaters come to your door, there will be many opportunities for your pets to slip out unnoticed, so make sure that your pets always wear current identification tags. We strongly recommend having your pets microchipped if you haven’t already, and be sure to always watch the door.
Halloween, and all the spooky fun that accompanies the holiday, is best enjoyed when the entire family is happy and safe—and that includes our pets. Follow these tips, and your pet will have just as much fun as you and your kids this Halloween.