September 24, 2017 | Erin | 8 Comments With Halloween just a few weeks away, I wanted to take a moment to remind all pet owners how to keep their pets safe this year. Many people love to include their cats and dogs in festivities which can make for a fun event for both family and pets. However, Halloween can be full of hazards for our pets if precautions are not followed. Some safety tips may seem like common sense, yet other dangers are less obvious. Veterinarians see an increase in calls right around Halloween as do hotlines for pet poisonings. What you need to know right now will help ensure a safe Halloween for both you and your pet. Halloween Safety For Pets Keep all candy away from pets. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can be toxic for pets, along with the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can be found in sugar-free candies. Suckers or any candy on a stick pose a choking hazard and need to also be kept from pets. Make sure to have pet-safe treats on hand so that your furry kids can safely join in on the fun! The ASPCA recommends: If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately. Be mindful of removing candles from jack-o-lanterns and decorations. Electric lights are a safer option, but keep in mind that the wires can pose a threat to curious pets. Be sure to hide any wires from pets chewing on them and also so they do not cause a trip hazard. Pets can be afraid or anxious on Halloween due to the strange sounds, the doorbell frequently ringing, all the strangers and possibly scary costumes that your pet will be exposed to. Think about your pet and their temperament. If they are prone to being anxious, it is wise to put them in a safe, secure location within your home to avoid them becoming upset. Whether or not you choose to take your pet with your family trick or treating, please be aware that your pet could easily get outdoors and away from you. If they do accompany you knocking on doors, it is best to keep them on a leash, one that has tags to identify that they belong to you or who you veterinarian is. Considering that Halloween is a night for tricks, it is safer for your pet not to be allowed outdoors in your yard alone. This is also a good time to remember that it is a smart idea to have cats and dogs microchipped in the event they get lost. Make sure that your pet does not mind wearing a costume before Halloween. While your dog or cat might just look so darn cute dressed up, if they become stressed and anxious, it is not worth it to expect them to wear a costume. If they do not seem bothered by it, make sure to dress them in a simple costume that is not too tight and is not elaborate. Your pet should be able to move freely in their costume and not be exposed to strings, belts, or attachments that could trip them. Do not put a mask on your pet since it could interfere with breathing or vision. Never allow your pet to chew on a costume as they could ingest something harmful. I love to hear stories and see pictures of your Halloween with your pets! Please feel free to comment below and also share what you have learned about Halloween safety for pets.