Top Halloween Tips for Pet Owners
1) Lock candy safely away. Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but a dog's keen sense of smell will lead them to even the most cleverly hidden treasure. Contact a veterinary professional right away if your pet does get into Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol.
2) Don't leave glow sticks lying around. Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun as well, and we commonly get calls about pets puncturing the sticks. While most of them are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste, and we will often see pets who bite into them drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.
3) Keep your pet identified and visible. There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure they wear a reflective collar and are securely leashed. And make sure your pet has proper identification on the collar.
4) Calm your pet. Even pets who are kept indoors may experience intense anxiety over the large number of strangely dressed visitors. Keeping your pet away from trick-or-treaters may be best. If you think your pet could benefit from a sedative, be sure and speak with your vet well in advance about options to help calm your pet.
5) Check those costumes. Costumes can be fun for the whole family. If you plan to dress up your pet, ensure that the costume isn't a choking hazard if chewed on and fits well, so it doesn't slip and tangle the pet. Never leave a costumed pet unattended.
If you suspect your pet may have ingested a toxic plant or any other potentially toxic substance, call the APCC at (888) 426-4435 or contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible. If your pet ate a toxic plant and is showing severe symptoms, it is best to take them into a local veterinarian immediately.