Roseville, CA – The costumes are stitched and sewn, the candy bowl is stocked and ready for eager trick-or-treaters, and the pumpkins are carved and flickering. It’s that spook-tacular time of year again. With so many ways to celebrate, it’s easy to get swept up in the haunting festivities of the Halloween season-but don’t forget that for your pet, the holiday can truly be a terrifying time of year.
“As much as we enjoy celebrating this spooky holiday with our family, friends, and neighbors, our pets can be particularly vulnerable to environmental hazards of the season,” Placer SPCA CEO Leilani Fratis explains. “Pet owners’ goals should be to take all of the necessary steps to minimize these potential hazards, keep your pet secure at home, and ensure a safe and fun Halloween for all.”
The Placer SPCA offers the following tips for pet owners to protect their pets this Halloween season:
- The candy bowl is for the humans only. Chocolate and other ingredients in these scrumptious treats are toxic to dogs. Keep the goodies away from your pet and secure them in a place where he will not be able to indulge.
- Be careful with costumes. Although it can make for a great photo, putting Fido in a costume could be dangerous. If you costume your pet, check to make sure the size is correct and will not choke or otherwise restrict him. Also be sure to remove any part of the costume that your pet could chew or swallow. Never leave your pet alone in costume.
- Be mindful while decorating. Candles, wires, lights, and props all pose a threat to curious or excitable animals, and cats are especially vulnerable to decorations like spiderwebs and silly string. Make sure your festive décor is pet-friendly and remove any choking, chewing, or fire hazards.
- Give your pets a safe place inside. The doorbell, masks and costumes, and the sounds of trick-or-treaters can be frightening to animals. Keep your pet – including your outdoor cat – indoors, and give him a calm and safe space inside the home to relax when the excitement begins. Introduce your pet to this safe space early on, and add background noise like music, a fan, or the TV to drown out any scary noises.
- Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior if he’s tagging along. If you must take your dog with you while you’re out, keep him on a leash at all times. Be sure that he is well-socialized and able to handle the excitement.
- Make sure your pet’s tags and microchip are always up-to-date. Even after all of the above precautions, some animals may still become lost after a particularly spooky encounter. Keeping this critical information up-to-date is the best way to help your friend find his way home if he is lost.
The Placer SPCA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive funding from the ASPCA or HSUS.