From creating the kids’ costumes, to spook-i-fying the house, to carving the pumpkins, Halloween can require some preparation. But, while you and the family get ready for this ghoulish holiday, don’t forget to prep the pets. Whether or not Fluffy will be participating in the frightful festivities, consider these important tips to keep your furry friends comfortable and safe.
- Don’t be afraid of boarding — Halloween can be scary and stressful for pets, who don’t understand why the doorbell is constantly ringing and hoards of people are showing up at their front door in strange costumes. If this sounds like your pet, consider using our boarding facility to provide a safe, quiet place away from all the commotion. Boarding can minimize your pet’s stress and eliminate the risk of fleeing a scary scene. If your pet has never boarded with us before, come in for a tour and schedule a short stay prior to Halloween to allow your pet time to adjust to the new surroundings.
- Schedule a ghostly grooming — Will your furry friend be part of the Halloween fun this year? Ensure your pet looks sharp by scheduling a grooming appointment at the Paw’lor. We provide bathing, clipping, nail trimming, and more. Ditch the costume, and consider a fun lion cut for your feline family member for the festivities.
- Take care when choosing a creepy costume — Pet costumes—from hot dogs, to dinosaurs, to pumpkins—are becoming increasingly popular. But, if you choose to dress your pet in a costume this year, take extra precautions:
- Try before you buy to ensure the costume fits properly, which will help accustom your pet to the outfit before the big day.
- Ensure the costume is not too snug or too loose, and that your pet can easily move, see, hear, bark or meow, and breathe without obstruction.
- Choose a costume that is not too thick or heavy, as added material may overheat your dog or cat.
- Ensure there are no dangly pieces or strings your pet could chew or that could be a tripping hazard.
- Safety isn’t superstitious — While Halloween is usually a time of good-natured, spooky fun, this holiday can pose several risks to your pets.
- Be cautious with candy — Whether you are handing out treats to the neighborhood children, or are expecting your kids to bring home mounds of candy, never allow your pets access to Halloween sweets. Chocolate is a common candy ingredient that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, or death. Generally, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous. Xylitol, a sugar substitute commonly found in candies, can cause dangerously low blood sugar in pets, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, and death.
- Don’t let decorations be deadly — No Halloween is complete without candlelit jack-o’-lanterns, but they can easily be knocked over and cause fires. Any decoration that requires electricity is a potential hazard for an electrical fire or electrocution if your pet is tempted to chew the cords. Take caution with any dangling garlands or drapes that may entangle your furry friends, and keep glow sticks out of paw’s reach.
- Don’t leave pets in disguise — Whether your pet is boarding, staying home, or heading out to trick-or-treat, up-to-date identification is essential. Both a collar with an identification tag and a microchip can help ensure your lost pet will be returned home. Microchipping is a relatively pain-free procedure that can be done as a simple, outpatient appointment.
At Stack Veterinary Hospital, we want you and your furry family to enjoy a safe, fun Halloween. Contact us if you have further questions, or for your boarding, grooming, or microchipping needs.