Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe this Fall and Halloween
Excited for fall and Halloween? So are we! Few things are better than putting on your favorite sweater, holding a hot mug of coffee or tea, and snuggling up with your pet. Of course, like every other season, fall has its share of hazards. While you certainly do a lot to keep your pet safe, some things might get overlooked. It’s easy to do, especially around the holidays!
See our list of tips below to ensure that your pet enjoys themselves and stays safe this season. You can also contact us at 412-373-8580 if you have questions!
Fall Pet Safety Tips
It’s best to keep your pet indoors on blustery days, especially if it’s raining. Even with thick fur coats, pets can still be affected by the cold, especially when it’s damp. We also recommend getting a jacket for your pet (especially if they have a short coat) that they can wear on walks to keep warm.
Mushrooms spring up all over when the weather gets cool and damp. Check the nooks and crannies of your back yard and other areas around your home for wild mushrooms, which can be highly toxic or even deadly if consumed.
Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween is all about tricks and treats, but too much of both can be harmful to your pet! See below for some important reminders about candies, decorations, and other Halloween staples.
Candy is a hallmark of Halloween, but much of it is harmful for pets. Many sugar-free treats contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener, which is very dangerous. Cocoa powder, chocolate, almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, and pistachios can also make your pet sick. Candy wrappers are a choking hazard, so be sure to throw them away immediately.
Certain decorations can also be a safety risk for pets, including candles, electrical cords for strings of lights, fake spiderweb, and plastic decals and other easy-to-swallow objects. Instead of having open flames in your home, consider getting artificial candles to use instead–they’re safe and functional.
Halloween costumes for pets can be cute, but not all pets enjoy wearing them. Don’t force your pet to wear a costume if they’re unwilling, and if they don’t mind dressing up, make sure their costume doesn’t limit their movement in any way or restrict their breathing.
Be careful with human costumes, too. Do they have buttons, strings, and other parts that can detach easily? These are potential choking hazards for dogs and cats. Take care with your costume, and try not to dress up too scary–this might frighten your pet!
Thanksgiving is all about food and family. Your pet should be included, but try to avoid giving them table scraps, especially meat bones. These can cause choking, internal injury, and intestinal blockage. Other foods to keep out of your pet’s reach include grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chives, leeks, various dairy products, fatty meats, caffeine, alcohol, and anything containing nutmeg.
Does your pet get nervous around strangers or large groups of people? Find a calming room in your house where your pet can try to relax in peace and quiet. Bring their bed, a favorite toy, and some treats. Be sure to check on them frequently, especially if they need to be taken out.
This is especially important on Halloween, when the constant ringing of the doorbell and opening and closing door can become disruptive. Some pets may try to bolt! Make sure your pet is microchipped and has updated ID tags, and try to keep them away from the door.
Finally, do not leave your pet outside on Halloween night. Pranks and mischief abound, and pets occasionally become targets. Keep your pet safe by keeping them indoors with you.