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Halloween pet safety tips

Between the strange costumes, crowded Halloween bashes and the constant ringing of the doorbell, Halloween can stress out even the calmest among us. But what about our pets who don’t really understand what’s going on?

Dogs in Halloween costumes

Here are our Halloween pet safety tips that will keep your furry family members’ tails wagging.

Be seen

reflective leash

Halloween means that more people than usual will be out and about on streets that are normally quiet. Be sure to protect your pet when trick-or-treating with a light-up or reflective collar and leash. Go an extra step by carrying a flashlight once the sun goes down to light up your path. This way, cars will see you and know to steer clear.

Pet costumes were made for a reason

While a human costume might look cute on your dog, those devil horns just look like a big chew toy to your little angel. If you’re decking out your pup in a Halloween costume, be sure to pick a pet costume that’s safe. Petco suggests, “When selecting a costume, let pets wear a creative costume, but be sure to look for soft, lightweight fabrics and no loose ties. Avoid any ornamentation that could possibly be swallowed.”

Candy is a major no-no

Not only can Halloween candy cause an upset stomach, but candy like chocolate can be toxic to pets. As tempting as it might be to leave a bowl of candy on a nearby table for your family to graze on, it’s twice as tempting for your pup. Halloween candy left within reach of your pet is in an invitation, so keep all your goodies sealed and out of sight (and smell) to avoid a disaster. Keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number on your fridge just in case:  (888) 426-4435

Keep decor out of reach

Along with the candy, keep electric Halloween decorations off the floor and out of your pet’s reach. Cords may look fun to eat, but they can also cause a nasty shock, burn or cut. Protect your pet by keeping these decorations somewhere else. Also, even decorative pumpkins and corn could upset your pup’s tummy if nibbled on, says the ASPCA.

Candles? No way

If you plan on showing off your prize jack-o’-lantern with a candle, you may want to reconsider. Curious pets risk getting burned if an open flame is left within reach, not to mention inadvertently setting your house on fire. Avoid this by opting for a battery-operated tealight instead.

Confine for safety

The stressful sights and sounds of Halloween night could turn a normally calm pet into a nervous Nelly. If your house gets a lot of Halloween traffic, keep your dog confined to the laundry room, in his crate or behind a gate. This way, there’s no chance of him escaping and getting into trouble — or giving a trick-or-treater an unwelcome scare!

dog tagID is a must

Although this one’s a must year-round, having a pet ID tag is especially important for Halloween. If your pet does get separated from you, make it easy for him to get back to you with a pet ID tag that offers clear contact information. Then make sure your pet wears it even if he’s just going out for a quick walk.

More on pets for fall

5 Tail-waggingly cute dog Halloween costumes
8 DIY doggie Halloween costumes
3 Fun fall activities for pets

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