In most of the country, and technically in Florida too, it’s fall which brings all sorts of new fun. Holiday preparations start and first up is Halloween. Here are 4 ways to keep our pets safe during the holiday season.
Everyone loves a bit of Halloween candy and our pets are no exception. Make sure you keep all candy up and out of the reach of even the best counter surfing pups. Sugar substitutes, like Xylitol, are deadly in even the smallest amount for animals and most everyone knows the danger of chocolate to dogs. Even wrappers can pose a problem if your pooch eats them, so clean up after a candy munching session.
We put on clothing every day (hopefully!) and we’re used to wearing things. Our dogs aren’t usually dressed so if you are going to put a costume on your fur baby, make sure you get the costume a few weeks ahead of time so they can get used to it. Try it on them a few minutes at a time for a few days ahead.
When you are picking out their costume, check it over to make sure there are no loose strings, elastic or decorations that they can chew and ingest. In Florida we also need to be mindful of the weather. While the rest of the country is cooling off, Halloween can be in the 90’s here. If you are dressing up your dog, make sure the costume will not overheat them. Watch for signs of distress if you take them with you trick-or-treating.
Decorations can post a special hazard. They have wires and moving parts and often are covered in tinsel or glitter all of which is dangerous to our pets. Put them up and out of reach if you can’t be there to actively supervise your pet around decorations. Check wires to make sure nothing is chewed or frayed before plugging in and turning on decorations. Trim any dangling pieces that could be interesting to cats or dogs. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t have candles or open flames around either.
Glowsticks are another hazard to be watchful for. They often contain chemicals and plastics that will make our pets very sick so keep them out of reach, and when they are done with their glow time, ensure they are thrown away properly.
Some pets are just naturally nervous. Before your trick-or-treaters start arriving, give your pet a safe haven by putting them in a room or move their crate to a low-traffic area. Provide food and water and possibly put the TV or a radio on. Also consider putting their collar and tags on if they don’t usually wear them in the house. This will ensure you know where they are and there is no chance they can run out the door while you are busy answering it all evening.
If you are taking your doggo out trick-or-treating with the family, be mindful of what he eats off the ground and make sure you have a sturdy hold on his leash. Kids will be out, there will be a lot of excitement and possibly loud noises. It’s easy to lose track of the pup when going from house to house.
The best thing to remember about this holiday season is that it’s a time to play and make memories with our families, including our four-legged family members. Stay safe and have fun!