How To Have A Pet-Friendly Halloween

Check out our top tricks and treats to ensure you and your pet have a spectacularly spooky Halloween.

Chocolate

Theobromine is the component in chocolate that can make your dog or cat very sick. Darker chocolate and cooking chocolate contain the highest amounts of theobromine.

Vets often report an increase in pets showing signs of theobromine toxicity around this time of year after they have helped themselves to your Halloween haul.

Pets do not need to ingest a large amount of chocolate to be affected so if you suspect your cat or dog has eaten chocolate, you should immediately take them to your nearest vet. Don’t leave your half-eaten chocolate lying around and be wary of the choking hazard that chocolate wrappers can present as well.

Candy and Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute and is commonly found in “sugar-free” chewing gum, mint and candy. But just like chocolate, it is highly toxic to pets and can cause serious problems.

Keep your candy out of your pets reach and don’t leave the wrappers, candy bags or lollipop sticks lying around either as they can present a choking hazard or be swallowed by your pet.

Costumes

We don’t want our pets to miss out on all the fun of dressing up for Halloween, but extra care should be taken when selecting a creepy costume for your pet.

Some pets will flat out refuse to wear any costumes and can become quite distressed if they are forced into an outfit. If this is the case for your pet, you could pick out a Halloween themed collar for them or use non-toxic dye or paint to draw a spooky skeleton onto their coat.

Avoid applying the dye or paint around the eyes or mouth and be sure to select a pet-friendly product that will not irritate the skin and is safe to be ingested if licked.


If your pet does enjoy dressing up, be wary of loose pieces or dangly decorations that can be chewed off and become a choking hazard. Pieces of costume that end up in your pets’ stomach may require surgery to remove.

It is recommended that you start your pet off with wearing the costume for a short amount of time and build up to a few hours so they are comfortable wearing their outfit for a longer duration.

Masks and any costume that restrict your pets’ sight, hearing, breathing, moving or its ability to open its mouth should be avoided and you should never leave your pet unattended while in costume.

Decorations

Decorations present another danger to pets at Halloween. Fake cobwebs and electrical cords can become entangled around your pet and cause serious injuries.

Some pets like to explore new items with their mouths and may end up eating some of the plastic spiders or other decorations you put up around the house.

Candles and open flames are another danger to pets and should be used under strict supervision.

 
 
Pets may also become stressed by moving or noisy decorations. You can limit their stress by only decorating the parts of your house where you can restrict your pets’ access and by keeping the volume turned down.

If your pet becomes particularly anxious when trick or treaters arrive at your door, you may wish to talk to your veterinarian about the steps you can take to help your pet when they become anxious.

Pet-Friendly Pumpkin recipes

Don’t throw away your pumpkin guts after you have finished carving your masterpiece! You can turn that pumpkin into a puree which forms the basis for making pumpkin pupcakes or other pet-friendly treats.

Separate the seeds and stringy fibres from the left-over pumpkin and cut into small pieces. Bake, boil or steam your pumpkin until it is soft. Once the pumpkin has cooled, remove the skin then blend until smooth. Check out our recipe for Halloween pumpkin treats below.

Pet Safety

Sadly, Halloween is still a dangerous time to be a black cat, with the increased risk of harm due to old fashioned superstitions and urban legends. The safest option is always to keep all pets secured inside, or if you need to venture outside, ensure your pet is wearing their leash or is otherwise secured in a carrier.
 

In the confusion of handing out chocolate and candy to excited trick or treaters, you may find your dog tries to sneak out the gate or your cat tries to slink out the door. The weeks leading up to Halloween are the perfect time of year to check your pets microchip details are up to date and that they are wearing a collar with ID tags.

From everyone here at CanadaVet, we hope you and your pets have a safe Halloween!

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