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5 tips to give your pet a happy Halloween

Halloween can be spooky for pets. Take steps to make sure they have a good time too.

Oct. 26, 2019—With its scrumptious treats and imaginative costumes, Halloween can be lots of fun for kiddos and kids at heart. Unfortunately, some aspects of the celebration can be stressful, and even dangerous, for pets.

Here are some ways to keep the pets in your life safe this Halloween, courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

Don't let Fido sample the sweets. Chocolate can be toxic to dogs and cats. But that's not the only reason to keep your pet from nosing the treat dish. Other treats, like sugar-free candy that contains xylitol, can be bad for pets too.

Use caution with candles. Fur and fire just don't mix. Be sure to keep your fuzzy pal away from open flames, including candle-lit jack-o'-lanterns. Better yet, use a battery-powered candle to make your front-porch gourd glow.

Consider costumes carefully. Just like people, not every pet enjoys dressing up. It may be too stressful for some. So if you want to put your pet in a costume, try it out before Halloween night. And also make sure the costume is comfortable and well-fitting and allows your pet to see, move and breathe freely. Check for any loose parts that could be chewed or swallowed.

Give your pet a break. A steady parade of trick-or-treaters at the door may be fun for you, but it can be stressful for animals. Unless your pet is very relaxed around people, you may want to keep him or her in a separate room until the trick-or-treating is done.

Make sure your pet has ID. With the door being opened often while you hand out candy, the chance of your pet escaping is higher on Halloween. If your pet does get out, having a microchip or collar with tags will increase the chances of a safe return.

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