By Dr. Bethany Falter, Associate Veterinarian

1-1257180647PAirHalloween is a night of fun, candy and costumes. But, for our pets, it can be stressful and occasionally, downright dangerous. Please take a moment to plan for the safety of your pets this Halloween night. Below are some tips for keeping your pets safe and healthy on Halloween.

1. Keep your pets indoors on Halloween. Cats especially should be kept indoors for the days surrounding Halloween to prevent unkind pranks.

2. Keep your pets confined to an area of the home away from the front door on Halloween night. Otherwise, they may slip through an open door or be frightened by trick or treaters in costume.

3. Remember that not all pets like to be dressed up. While it may look cute, costumes may add additional stress to an already frightened or stressed pet. Do not dress up your pet unless you are certain they enjoy it.

4. If you do decide to dress your pet up, be aware of any small parts or loose pieces that they may chew up or swallow.

5. Keep candy and other treats away from pets. Ingestion of Halloween treats may be toxic to pets and may cause upset stomachs in some animals.

6. Keep animals away from lit pumpkins. They may inadvertantly knock them over, posing a fire hazard.

7. Keep Halloween decorations out of your pet’s reach. Plants such as pumpkins and dried corn may cause upset stomachs if eaten and other decorations may pose a choking hazard.

8. Wires or cords from holiday decorations should be kept out of reach. If chewed, your pet may be burned or suffer an electric shock.

9. Make sure that all pets wear some form of identification. If your pet does escape, having an id tag on your pet will increase the odds of a safe return.

10. Keep children and neighbors safe as well – remember that even a friendly, social dog may be frightened by people in costume and could behave aggressively as a result.

What are your plans for you and your pets this Halloween?  Do you have any special traditions? Leave a note in the comments with your plans and traditions.  Have a safe and happy Halloween!