No Trick or Treat: How to keep your pets safe on Halloween

Halloween could be dangerous for dogs, cats if precautions aren't taken

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Your four-legged friends could be in danger this Halloween if you don't follow a few important precautions.

The Clay Humane Society wants to remind pet owners to keep dogs and cats away from candy, flames and even some costumes. "If you follow a few simple precautions, you can keep your pets safe and happy on Halloween," said Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane Society.

Broadhurst has the following suggestions:

  • Check Costumes: If you decide to dress your pet in a Halloween costume, make sure it doesn't have dangling parts your pet could chew and possibly swallow. Parts of Halloween costumes could become lodged in your pet's throat or puncture his or her stomach. Also ensure the costume is loose and your pet's movement isn't constricted.
  • Monitor Decor: Just like costumes, your Halloween decorations can have dangling parts pets may try to chew. Keep pets away from Halloween decorations.
  • Avoid Flames: Candles, candelabras and even outdoor fire pits are a fun way to celebrate Halloween. Keep pets away from the fire so they don't get burned. Take extra care with jack-o-lanterns and candles as animals can knock them over and cause damage to themselves and others.
  • Watch Wires: A lot of decorations may light up via electrical wires. Keep pets away from these wires as they can electrocute your dog or cat.
  • Keep Away from Candy: Many candies, including chocolate and those containing xylitol (an artificial sweetener), are poisonous to pets. In large quantities, chocolate can cause muscle tremors, seizures, internal bleeding, irregular heartbeat or a heart attack, while xylitol can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver damage or death in pets.
  • Give Pets a Comfortable Place to Relax: As the door bell rings and kids say "trick or treat," dogs and cats are often startled or anxious. Give your dogs or cats a safe, quiet place to relax such as a bedroom without windows or a bathroom.
  • Make sure to Have Proper Identification: Should your pet go missing during Halloween, it is vital your animal is wearing proper identification. Make sure your dogs and cats are wearing tags with their names, your name and phone number. Also ensure your pet is microchipped in case the collar falls off.