Top 10 Halloween Hazards to Your Pet

  1. 1. Chocolate: Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic. When ingested, the caffeine-like stimulant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, racing pulse, and seizures. Make sure your family members understand these risks and the importance of keeping chocolate away from your pets.
  2. 2. Candy in general: Most pet owners are aware of the dangers of chocolate, but there are other types of sweets that also pose health risks for your pets. Make sure your kids know not to feed the dog any candy from their baskets and also be sure that the candy bowl is out of the reach of your pets.
  3. 3. Candy and other goodies containing xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is showing up in all kinds of products, including sugar-free candy, gum, mints, and baked goods. A small amount of xylitol can cause a rapid and dangerous blood sugar drop in dogs, as well as acute liver failure.
  4. 4. Candy wrappers: Candy isn’t the only health threat for pets. Wrappers can be extremely dangerous if ingested. The wrapper can cause life-threatening bowel obstruction that requires surgery. It’s very important to stress to children in particular the need to keep all candy wrappers out of the reach of pets.
  5. 5. Common Halloween non-candy treats: Some people like to hand out small boxes of raisins or other substitutes for candy on Halloween. Raisins and nuts are toxic to dogs and cats and can potentially cause kidney failure in very small amounts.
  6. 6. Complicated pet costumes: As adorable as it is to dress up your pet for Halloween, may costumes can pose a danger to your pet’s health. Depending on the outfit, the temperature, and your pet’s coat, it’s easier than you think for him to overheat while all dressed up. Pets have also been injured when their range of motion, vision, or hearing is restricted by the costume. Be smart when picking out a costume for your furry friends. Make sure they are comfortable, simple, and are light-weight.
  7. 7. Candles: Candles, including the small ones inside Jack ‘o lanterns, are fire hazards. You don’t want your kitty wandering across a table or shelf decorated with lit candles, nor do you want your dog getting too friendly or feisty with a carved pumpkin with a candle inside. Make sure all these types of fire hazards are well beyond your pet’s reach.
  8. 8. Commotion of the holiday: Halloween involves a lot of chaos and children. If your pet is not used to a lot of children but is around for the trick-or-treating festivities, make sure they feel comfortable, don’t get too excited, and are not stressed out. If you think they may not be able to handle the excitement of all the children, keep them in the house.
  9. 9. Choking Hazards: Pet costumes often come with buttons, bows, and other small accessories that can be pulled off and choked on or swallowed. Again, make sure the costume for your pet is simple and does not have anything that can be chewed off or that falls off easily.
  10. 10. Callers at the door: If your neighborhood tends to be full of trick-or-treaters, it’s a good idea to make sure your pet can’t escape through an open door or window, either to investigate all the activity, or to escape it. Many dogs and most cats find a constantly ringing doorbell, strange voices yelling “Trick or Treat,” and people dressed up in scary costumes to be anxiety-producing.

Source: Healthy Pets