As Halloween approaches, pet enthusiasts may be gearing up for this year’s festivities with miniature costumes, decorative items and treats for their furry friends. However, there are dangers associated with the holiday, which could put a pet’s health at risk. From Halloween decorations to trick-or-treating, precautionary measures must be taken to ensure the safety of pets.
Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, the nation’s largest doggy daycare and overnight camp, offers a list of important tips for Halloween Pet Safety.
· Fido may look adorable in his new superhero costume, but that cape won’t necessarily keep him out of harm’s way. Dressing up your pet for Halloween can be harmful. Costumes should not constrict the animal's movement, hearing or sight, or impede their ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, it may be helpful to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, don’t bother.
· Before your pet participates in any Halloween activities, take a closer look at his or her costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that they could choke on. Also, watch out for ill-fitting outfits which can get twisted on external objects on your pet, leading to injury.
· Putting make-up or face paint on your pet can be harmful. Paints could potentially irritate their skin, or may be eaten. Even make-up that is non-toxic could cause stomachaches or worse.
· Candy bags are strictly for the enjoyment of trick-or-treaters, not your pet. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Give your pooch their own Halloween candy by treating them to their favorite doggy snack. If you do suspect that your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or your local control center immediately.
· Keep an eye out for decorative edible items like Halloween pumpkins and candy corn, when participating in this year’s festivities with your pet. While these are considered to be relatively nontoxic, they can be harmful, causing stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
· Do not take your pets trick or treating. It’s possible that your dog could get spooked by a ghost or goblin and a dog bite or fight could occur.