The arrival of Halloween means parties, trick-or-treaters, and lots of delicious candies. However, some of the
same goodies and decorations we humans are so fond of can be potentially hazardous to our pets. Here are some
common-sense cautions that will keep your furry friends safe and stress-free this time of year.
No tricks, no treats! That bowl full of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.
Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers
can be hazardous if swallowed. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance,
please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at
Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet
they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if
large pieces are ingested.
Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your
pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly
life-threatening electrical shock.
A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets
can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting
burned or singed by candle flames.
Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know
he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their "birthday suits," however,
wearing a costume can cause undue stress.
If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the
animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe or bark. Keep a look out for small,
dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces on the costume that your pet could choke on.
Take a closer look at your pet's costume and make sure it does not obstruct his/her vision in any way.
Even the sweetest animals can get snappy when they can't see. Humans get fearful when they can't see and
it might be even scarier for the furry one.
All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat visiting
hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside. Keeping
them in a separate room will ensure that he/she does not dart out of the door.
IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet
escapes and should become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip increase the chances that he or she
will be returned to you.
Please remember to keep your pets safe, if you suspect that your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous
substance around Halloween or any time of year, please call your veterinarian or the
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.