1. KEEP CANDY OUT OF REACH AND LOCKED AWAY!
Even the best of kids will do their best to stash some candy away in their rooms before Mom and Dad lock it up and dole it out moderately. A dog’s keen sense of smell will lead him to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. If your pet gets into the candy stash, please call your veterinarian right away! Chocolate is extremely poisonous to dogs. While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion often results in significant illness. Chocolate is toxic because it contains the methylxanthine theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant. Theobromine can be poisonous and result in severe clinical signs, especially if untreated. You may say, “But he ate the sugar-free candy, so it’s cool.” NO IT ISN’T! Sugar-free candy contains xylitol, which is also poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs.
2. Keep those glow sticks away from the pets!
Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun and often puncture them. While most of the sticks are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste and pets who bit into them may begin drooling and racing around the house, pawing at their mouths, become agitated, and in rare instances may cause vomiting. Other than the reaction to the bad taste, glow sticks and jewelry are generally not toxic.
3. Have your pets identified and Visible.
There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. Also, (human) predators have taking advantage of this in recent years and stealing dogs, or even killing them as Halloween comes to its peak. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he wears a reflective collar and keep him on a leash, and visible to you at all times. Never tie him outside or away from you on the night of festivities. His life just may depend on you.
4. Keep Pets Calm
Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over a large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet securely inside and away from trick-or-treaters may do the trick, but if you think more will be needed then be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet. Others may have been socialized to the point that they enjoy Halloween as the rest of us do, and they “tolerate” dressing up and escorting you and the kiddos on your trick-or-treating adventure.
5. Check Those Costumes
Costumes can be fun for the whole family. However, if you are planning on dressing up your best bud, ensure that the costume fits well and isn’t going to slip and tangle the pet or cause a choking hazard if chewed on. Please, NEVER leave a costumed pet unattended.