7 Tips for a Safe Howloween for Your Fur Kids!
Every kid loves Halloween. However, when it comes to our furry children, this candy and costume centric holiday brings some important things to consider before you put that Chewbacca costume on your chihuahua.
Pet stores and Amazon are full of the latest Halloween costume options for your dog or cat. But, let’s be honest, most of these pet costume manufacturers are interested in making a buck with very little concern for the safety of the one wearing it.
If you’re planning to have your dog or cat participate in the ghoulish festivities, make sure you follow these costume rules:
Proper Fit- make sure that the costume is not too tight. It should be a comfortable fit without any area cutting off circulation whatsoever. You should easily be able to fit two fingers between any point on the costume and your pet’s body.
Breathing and movement- no part of the costume should hamper your pet’s ability to breathe, move, see, hear, or open his/her mouth.
Heat- costumes can get hot very quickly!! If your dog or cat is panting, take the costume off immediately. Period. Even if you don’t think he/she is hot, panting can often be a sign of stress. There’s nothing cute about an animal in distress.
Choking Hazards-some costumes have parts that can easily be chewed off and swallowed. This can quickly become a choking hazard or a painful obstruction that requires surgical removal. Don’t buy costumes that could be a potential danger of any kind..
2. Candy KILLS
Xylitol is a deadly DEADLY artificial sweetener found in 100’s of candies, mints, gum, chocolates, peanut butter, and lots of other things that might seem rather innocent and tasty to our “kiddos”…even some household products!! But, no matter how much they beg, DON’T feed them Halloween candy or you might just find yourself in the veterinary emergency room hoping they can save your baby’s life. Keep the candy stash far away from any sniffing noses or countertop surfers. Their life depends on it.
HERE is a list of more than 700 products that contain Xylitol. AND, don’t trust the label on the candy! Xylitol can go by several other chemical names such as: Birch Sugar, E967, Meso-Xylitol, Méso-Xylitol, Sucre de Bouleau, Xilitol, Xylit, Xylite, Xylo-pentane-1,2,3,4,5-pentol
3. Microchipping and Tag
Make sure your dog(s) and cat(s) tags/microchips are current with your address and phone number and that they have their collar on! Many pets go missing on Halloween due to the door being repeatedly opened for trick or treaters. If you know your dog or cat is a runner, keep them in another area of the house away from the risk of bolting out the door. My favorite tag for Charlie is his PetHub tag. It’s a “smart” tag that has a QR code on the back loaded with safety features such as gps locating if anyone scanned his tag as well as medical info. It’s amazing and so inexpensive!!! You should seriously grab one for all your cats and dogs.
4. Glow sticks and glow jewelry
Both of these items can end up being potentially deadly chew toys. The safer bet is to simply leave these off of your pet. They’re cuteness is plenty glowy enough.
5. Fire Hazards
Candles and jack-o-lanterns are often part of the halloween decor but, make sure these aren’t anywhere your curious dog or cat could reach them or accidentally get too close with that costume you have on them!!! Costumes can be extremely flammable so, keep all flames of any kind in safe places they can’t access them. Even if they don’t have a costume on, a scared or excited dog or cat could accidentally knock a candle over and cause a fire.
6. Bite Risks
If you know your dog is a potential biter when frightened or over-protective, do the kind and safe thing for them and give them a quiet area of the house that they can relax away from the chaos. A consistently ringing doorbell and multiple miniature visitors in strange outfits might be enough for little Fluffy to decide she needs to turn into Kujo . Keep her safe from that scenario. One option is to simply leave your treats by the front door with a friendly note asking folks to help themselves but to not ring the doorbell. Another option is to give Fluffy a quiet and secure area of the house that she feels comfortable in when you go to the door to greet guests.
7. Stranger Danger
As sad as it is, there are people in the world that don’t like animals and will purposely harm them…potentially even more so on Halloween. This particular holiday can be fatally scary for your beloved cat or dog if left outside unattended. Please don’t leave your cat or dog outside on Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk of heinous crimes on this holiday but no pet, regardless of color or species, should be left outside unattended where strangers might have access to them.
“Bottom line, if you’re including your furry kids in the Halloween festivities, do it with the same amount of caution that you would use with a human child.”
Our beloved dogs and cats can’t speak so they rely on us to know what is safe, comfortable, and appropriate for them.
While they might oblige our whims of dressing them up, consider that they might find it far more enjoyable to wear the little fur costume they were born with. But, if you do decide that being SpiderMan has been Stinky’s longing since he was a wee pup, make sure you make the best choices for his safety and that your best pet parenting skills are on point.
No one wants a scary trip to the veterinary emergency room…least of all your fur kid!
Have a safe and HAPPY HOWLOWEEN!! Tag Charlie and I @far_fetched_adventures so we can see how you and your fur kids are celebrating :)