DAP Offers Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This Halloween

Published on October 25, 2022

Help make Halloween more fun than frightful for your furry family members

Halloween can be a night of fun and frights for humans, but it can be downright stressful for pets with the unusual sights, sounds and smells of the haunting holiday. So Denver Animal Protection (DAP) offers spirited advice to take the terror out of your pet’s Halloween this weekend.

Be Picky with Pet Costumes

The National Retail Federation estimates 35.3 million dog and cat owners will dress up their pets for Halloween in 2022, spending a record $0.7 billion. If you don’t already know that your pet enjoys being dressed up, keep in mind that wearing a costume can be stressful. Make sure the costume doesn’t result in your pet overheating, impairs their vision, or makes it difficult for them to breath if it covers their face or is too tight on their body. Also, check for pieces that can be chewed off and become a choking hazard. You’ll also want a costume that’s easy to get on and off, such as one with Velcro or something that attaches to their harness or collar. If your pet tries to shake off a hat or any other accessory, take it off.

Remember, frightened pets are more likely to bite, scratch, or bolt from the house to escape perceived danger.

Trick or Treating Can Be Too Much

Be aware that people dressed in costumes and masks may scare your pet. Constant knocking or doorbells ringing can also put a pet on edge, particularly if they bark to protect their people. Consider crating or keeping your dog in an enclosed room with a TV or music on for company and a bone to chew. If that doesn’t work, consider sitting outside to keep trick-or-treaters from knocking on the door or ringing the bell.

Anticipate Escape Artists

Crating is a good idea if you’re handing out candy, because each time the door opens Fido or Fluffy have a chance to run out. If your pet does escape, have proper identification on him or her. Make sure their microchips have current information. Inaccurate information won’t help get your pet back home quickly.

Keep Candy Out of Reach

Humans love chocolate, but it’s toxic for dogs. The higher concentrations of cocoa, the worse the reaction. Veterinarians say it takes just one ounce of milk chocolate for every pound of your dog’s weight to cause a poisonous reaction. So, one pound of chocolate can poison a 20-pound dog. The reason? Humans can break down the compound theobromine in chocolate, but dogs can’t. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to dogs. It puts pressure on their nervous systems and kidneys, which can lead to seizures, muscle tremors and vomiting. The artificial sweetener xylitol is also bad for dogs, who can’t digest it and may experience a dangerous drop in blood sugar and liver damage.

Hosting a Party Can be a Hazard

Keep food, candles, and lit jack-o’-lanterns out of your dog or cat’s reach (don’t forget about wagging tails). Glow sticks also can be poisonous. Fake cobwebs and strung lights can choke or entangle your pet. And keep an eye on electrical cords for decorations that can be chewed and cause electric shock or burns. If you tuck your pets away in a quiet room, put a sign on the door so your guests know it’s off-limits.

If you’d like to speak with one of our Animal Protection Officers today about these tips and others, please call and we’ll schedule an interview.

Also, don’t be frightened, but we have less than a week left of our adoption special. You can adopt any of our animals for half off. Come get a comforting companion to help you through the spooky days ahead. See our available pets here.