With Halloween right around the corner, time is growing short to plan for the festivities on this popular holiday. We may be planning a Halloween bash, the best neighborhood trick-or-treating route to take, how to set up the perfect scary scene in our house or front yard, or working on the perfect pet costume for our furry companion.

Along with all this preparation, pets safety should be top priority. Keep reading for common sense ideas for pet costumes and decor from Shiloh Veterinary Hospital.

Pet Costumes Common Sense

Everyone loves the picture of the dachshund dressed as a hot dog, but are costumes right for your pet? With some time, praise, and patience, your pet may grow accustomed to wearing a costume, but don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t work out.

Here are some pet costumes precautions:

  • Avoid masks or anything that impairs vision
  • Costumes should not have dangling parts, like bells or ribbon
  • Don’t restrict breathing
  • If your pet is biting or chewing at the costume, remove it right away
  • Remove the costume if your pet tries to wriggle out of it or seems uncomfortable
  • Monitor your pet’s temperature throughout the night to make sure she’s not overheating
  • Offer fresh drinking water often throughout the festivities

Dangerous Decor

On fright night, we may enjoy animatronic outdoor witches, goblins hanging from trees, spider webs, and light up spooky decorations. But pets can be scared and stressed by the outdoor and indoor decorations alike. Not only that, but Halloween decor can pose certain health risks to pets that pet owners should be aware of. 

Jack-o-lanterns. It wouldn’t be Halloween without a carved pumpkin or two. But curious pets can easily knock over a lit jack-o-lantern and start a fire. Singed whiskers and tails are also a risk. Keep carved pumpkins outdoors, and consider LED lighting instead of a real flame.

Animatronic decorations. Animatronic decorations can thoroughly scare your pet. Introduce the character to your pet during the day, and let her sniff and examine it without turning on the sound or movement at first. You may need to entice her with treats, and give lots of praise, letting her know she’s safe. Even with these precautions, your pets may never fully appreciate these decorations, so consider either skipping them, or keeping your pet away from the Halloween festivities with a room of her own. 

Electrical wires. Power cords and electrical wires are dangerous due to the risk of electrocution if chewed – curious kittens are especially known for this. And any pet, if wires are left hanging, can become entangled and injured. Keep all wires away from pets.

Other decor. Decorative corn and pumpkins are relatively non-toxic, but if you pets eats them, they can definitely cause GI upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. Corn cobs could become lodged in your pet’s intestine, causing a foreign body obstruction that could require emergency surgery to remove. Ingesting some cooked pumpkin is okay, but eating a lot of the raw stuff would cause GI upset and diarrhea. 

Halloween Common Sense for Pet Owners 

In order to have a spooktacular holiday with your pets, a little common sense and preparation goes a long way. Survey your home for the items we mentioned and make sure your pets can’t access them. Keep a close eye on your pet’s comfort and well being, and make adjustments throughout the night. 

We also recommend keeping all pets indoors from prior to dusk and throughout the night. Cats, especially black cats, can become the targets of senseless holiday pranks. 

We hope you enjoy a safe and happy Halloween with your pets. If you have questions about pet costumes, decor, or other health and safety precautions for pets, please give us a call