Halloween can be a fun time of the year for everyone in your family. Kids dressed up in costumes collecting candy. Adults decorating, passing out candy, then later stealing the candy the kids brought home. It is really a great tradition for everyone. But, what about those four-legged family members you have running around? Sure, it sounds like a great idea to put them in a costume and take them Trick 'o Treating with the kids, or let them help you pass out candy through the evening at home. But, consider these tips from the AVMA before including Fido or Fluffy in the festivities:
- Candy is Bad for Pets: especially chocolate or anything with xylitol (a common sugar substitute.)
- Identification is Important: Keep a collar on all pets throughout the day and evening, and we highly recommend microchipping. It is easy to be distracted at an open door with Trick 'o Treaters, and your dog or cat may find this to be an optimal time to escape during the excitement.
- Jack 'O Lanterns: Keep all candles/ flames out of reach of your pets.
- Let's Play Dress-Up: Make sure to let your pet try on his or her costume before the big day. Confirm it fits comfortably, does not have any small/loose pieces that can be chewed off and swallowed, does not interfere with your pet's sight, hearing, breathing, movement, or opening/closing its mouth, and never leave your pet unsupervised while he or she wears the costume.
- Glow Sticks: Even though glow sticks and glow jewelry are not highly toxic, if chewed on they can cause your pet to salivate excessively and act strangely. Keep these away from your pet.
- Stranger Danger: If your pet dislikes new people or has a tendency to bite, keep them inside and away from guests, especially during Trick 'o Treat hours.
- Trick 'o Treat: It seems like an awesome idea to dress up your dog and take him or her with you while you escort the kids around the neighborhood, unfortunately Halloween is a holiday that can possibly provide a lot of stress to an otherwise calm dog. Keep your pets indoors and save this experience for just you and your kids. (Also, if you have cats, especially black ones, keep them indoors around Halloween.)
We hope everyone has an amazing and safe Halloween this year!