Halloween presents more than its fair share of potentially scary situations for our companion animals, but following some basic guidelines will go a long way toward making the holiday more fun than frightening for both you and your pets.
- Keep all Halloween candy far away from your pets. There are a variety of substances in candy and other treats that can be toxic to your pets, and it’s not always easy for you to know what is in each individually wrapped treat.
- Halloween decorations (including jack-o-lanterns, lit candles, glow sticks, batteries, etc.) should be displayed and stored in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. Decorations are a common cause of sickness, internal injuries, and choking during the holidays.
- If you plan on dressing your pet in costume this Halloween, make sure it doesn’t include fabric or other pieces that your pet could easily chew off and swallow or that blocks their sight, hearing, breathing, mouth, or movement in any way.
- If your pet is fearful of people they don’t know, could potentially bite, or gets anxious about frequent visitors or the sound of the doorbell, consider keeping them in an area of your home that’s as far away from the front door as possible, for the duration of trick-or-treating hours.
- Keep your pet indoors for the evening, even if they typically spend a lot of time outside.
In the event your pet does get sick or injured, knowing when and how to seek emergency care is important to ensure they have the best chance of recovery. Be sure you know the location, phone number and hours of the closest emergency animal hospital to where you live. It’s also a good idea to call ahead to let them know you are coming.
Should you need to seek or refer emergency care for an animal at UW Veterinary Care, please review the ER hours of operation and call ahead (for small animals, 608-263-7600; for large animals, 608-263-6300) to verify availability.
Additional resources about safely celebrating holidays with your pets.
- Holiday Pet Safety (American Veterinary Medical Association)
- Animal Poison Control Website, Hotline and Mobile App (ASPCA)
- Dog Chocolate Toxicity Meter (PetMD)