Top tips to keep pets safe this Halloween
Although ghosts and ghouls might give us a scare, nothing frightens us more than our pets being in danger. From poisonous food to dangerous decorations, there are many things that could give our pets a fright this Halloween.
Luckily, PDSA, the vet charity for pets in need, has put together its top tips to help prevent any cat-astrophes this spooky season.
PDSA Vet Nurse, Nina Downing, said: “Between spooky costumes and an increase in visitors to the house, Halloween can bring lots of dangers and stressful situations for our four-legged friends. However, by taking a few small steps, we can keep Halloween fun for everyone.
- Keep Halloween treats out of paws’ reach
While chocolate may be a nice treat for us, it is a nasty trick for pets. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to pets, even in small amounts. The same goes for sweets, if they contain a sweetener called xylitol (sometimes called birch sugar). So, while you prepare for trick or treaters, be sure to store these goodies somewhere your pet won’t be able to reach them.
If your favourite tradition is carving out pumpkins, be sure to keep pets away from them to prevent them from eating the fruit, as it will go off or become mouldy.
- Leave trick-or-treaters outside
A constant stream of unfamiliar people knocking on your door can make some pets feel anxious, especially if they’re not used to lots of visitors. So, why not place a ‘help yourself’ bucket outside your home so little heroes or villains can pick out their own sweets without upsetting your furry family members?
- Hang decorations out of reach
Many pets love playing with toys, and dangly decorations are a strong temptation for our furry friends to explore. However, if they get hold of them, they could end up chewing and swallowing something harmful. So, make sure you hang any decorations safely out of reach! Additionally, be sure to keep lit candles away from your furry friends to help prevent them from burning themselves.
- Return home before dark
Trick-or-treaters in creepy costumes, coupled with loud music from parties, can cause many pets to feel scared or overwhelmed, so it’s a good idea to take your pooch for a walk earlier in the day, before any spook-tastic celebrations begin.
You can also encourage your puss to come home by offering their dinner slightly earlier, before it gets dark outside. However, if you’re closing their cat flap for the evening, make sure you have a litter tray set up and a snuggly bed ready for them to settle down in.
- Don’t dress pets up
While we may love to dress up as goblins and ghouls for Halloween, pets don’t share our enthusiasm. Costumes can make pets feel stressed and uncomfortable. Our four-legged friends are adorable just as they are, and there are other ways to get them involved this Halloween, such as a cuddling up for a spooky movie night together.
For more information on how to keep pets happy this Halloween you can visit: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/what-we-do/blog/halloween-survival-guide-for-pets
PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk