Costumes can be scary to your pets. Here's how to keep them safe, calm this Halloween

John Gregory Image
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Keep pets safe this Halloween with these tips
Costumes may be cute to you, but they are not always fun for your pet. A veterinarian explains how to keep pets safe this Halloween.

Halloween night is exciting with trick-or-treaters and parties. But for pets, it can be overwhelming.

Here are a few tips to keep your animals calm and happy this Halloween:

While you might think it's cute to dress up your pet, your furry friend may not feel the same.

"I want to make sure that he's comfortable, that nothing is constricting his movement. Nothing's obstructing his vision at all," said Dr. Lorraine Corriveau, Primary Care Clinician at Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine. "I just want to make sure that I'm not using things that can be constrictive like rubber bands that might cause some issues with circulation and other things."

The outfit also should not have anything attached that your pet might swallow and choke on.

Human costume accessories and Halloween decor are also choking hazards.

If you're inviting friends over for Halloween, consider putting your animal in a room to minimize their stress. You may also want to have a safe space for them to hide from ringing doorbells or other scary noises.

If you plan on taking them trick-or-treating, be cautious of your pet's reaction to people's costumes.

"People dress up, they look scary, they look different," Corriveau said. "Even though they may know that person, they look different to them. ... If they're not receptive to new people or scary things, maybe they don't go trick or treating, they stay home."

"If they do go outside, make sure they have a reflective tag, make sure they're well identified, maybe with a microchip in case they do get away," Corriveau added.

When kids bring home candy, remember chocolate, gum and sweeteners are dangerous to pets.

If your pup decides to go after the jack-o-lantern, don't panic. Pumpkin is actually okay for animals, just in small doses.

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