Here are the top tips for Halloween pet safety from experts at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and the American Veterinary Medical Association:
That pug in the pumpkin outfit may be cute, but make sure it’s safe. Costumes with parts that could be chewed off and swallowed present a hazard, as do those that could limit the pet’s vision or breathing, and those with belts, strings, and other potential entanglements. A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple and never leave a costumed pet unsupervised.
It’s best to keep all decorations, especially any with electrical cords, out of reach of pets. Be sure lit candles and jack-o-lanterns cannot be knocked over by your pets.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats, and birds. As little as one ounce of baking chocolate or eight ounces of milk chocolate can kill a 10-pound dog. Xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free candies and gum, is also deadly to pets. Make sure your pets can’t get into the candy, and seek emergency medical treatment if they do.
Safe at Home
If you’re expecting lots of trick-or-treaters at your front door, play it safe and keep pets in their kennels or in a separate room, especially if they have a tendency to bite. All the noise and activity stresses some pets. Plus, the coming and going could create an opportunity for your pet to slip outside.
And just in case an escape is made during the Halloween celebration, make sure your pet is properly identified, not only with a collar and ID tag but also with microchipping.