Halloween can be so much fun.  But put yourself in your pet’s shoes.  The day is winding down and instead of snuggling with your favorite human, the doorbell keeps ringing.  And ringing.  And ringing.  And your human keeps opening the door and strange little people, dressed in scary costumes are shouting something that sounds like “Trick or Treat”.  You don’t know what’s going on, but you do know that this is no ordinary night.

We’ve got some tips to make Halloween a little easier, safer and hopefully more fun for everyone!

  1. Candy isn’t good for you, but it REALLY isn’t good for your pet!

Let’s start with the obvious.  Chocolate can be dangerous, and even lethal, for cats and dogs.  Xylitol can be poisonous as well.  Vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, seizures and rapid breathing are all symptoms of chocolate poisoning.  Even the smallest amount of xylitol can cause a rapid drop in sugar and a loss of coordination and seizures.  Make sure to keep the candy out of reach of all pets – even those that can counter surf and open cupboards.

  1. Keep your dog away from the front door.

Whether you use a baby gate or tether your dog to you, make sure your dog can’t dash out the door when Trick-or-Treater’s come knockin’.  If you have an anxious or territorial dog, it’s best to use a baby gate, crate them or keep them in a closed off room that they are comfortable in.  As for cats, keep them in a closed off room that they feel safe and secure in.  And make sure everyone is wearing their ID Tags, just in case they do make a run for it.

  1. Keep your pets inside – even in the days leading up to Halloween.

It seems incomprehensible to us animal lovers that this could happen, but vicious pranks involving teasing, stealing, injuring and even killing animals are known to come around during Halloween.  Black cats are especially at risk.  Did you know that some animal shelters won’t even adopt black cats out in October due to safety risks?  It’s best to keep everyone inside, safe and sound.

  1. Pumpkin is great, but too much pumpkin is not!

Pumpkin is wonderful for pets.  It’s so wonderful we wrote a blog about it!  But think how you would feel if you at an entire pumpkin!  Besides a horrible tummy ache, intestinal blockage can occur if larger pieces are ingested.  Keep an eye on other fall foods, such as Decorative Indian Corn, which can also cause intestinal blockage if eaten.

  1. Jack-O’-Lantern’s and Pets Don’t Mix.

Keep the lit jack-o’-lantern’s outside and away from any pets.  Pets can easily get excited, bump into them, and cause a fire or get burned.  Try lighting your jack-o’-lantern with Pumpkin Lights or Glow Sticks and avoid fire danger altogether.

  1. “Please Don’t Make Me Wear That”

You may have a pet who loves playing dress up.  But for every pet who loves it, there are 10 who hate it.  Try out your pet’s costume a few day’s in advance of Halloween.  If they seem to be comfortable, great!  If not, try something smaller, like a Halloween Bandana.