Space Coast Pet Services loves Spooky Season and all the scary decorations, games, and activities that surround and lead up to Halloween. From decorations to candy to costumes and parties, there’s a lot for us to look forward to. Unfortunately, while humans may enjoy a good scare, our pets don’t, and much of what we find fun for this time of year, our pets find it scary.
But where’s the line between spooky fun and just plain scary?
Never fear; we’re here to tell you. Read on for tips on your Halloween décor, what Halloween treats are safe and not so safe for your pet, costume tips, and all the ways to take the scary out of the spooky fun for your pets this year.
Decorations help set the mood for Halloween, but not all are safe for our pets to be around. Some decorations to be aware of include any small or webbed decorations that can cause choking. Also, fog machines, sound machines, and animatronic decorations (those fun ones that come to life when unsuspecting visitors walk past) may cause problems. While these machines don’t pose a serious risk of injury for your pet, they can cause unnecessary stress.
Ok, so be careful with fog, sound, and animatronics, but what about pumpkins? Pumpkins as decoration are best placed out of reach of your pet. This is especially true for jack-o’-lanterns as they tend to decay quickly and can gather bacteria and mold, which is dangerous for your pets to ingest. Also, if you’re carving jack-o’-lanterns this season, you’ll want to keep your pet away from any leaves, stems, skin, or raw seeds.
While pumpkins are best kept away from your pets as decorations, plain pumpkin is an excellent treat for your furry companion! Pumpkin can aid in your pet’s digestion, help combat constipation and diarrhea, and provide them with a nice immune system boost.
It’s natural to want to share your sweet treats with your pet. Before going straight for the candy bag, consider buying some Halloween-themed pet treats. These allow you to keep your pet in the spooky theme without worrying about unsafe ingredients.
But if you need a little help getting through your candy stash, we’ll go over what’s safe and not safe for your pet to consume.
First, any sugary treats should be discouraged. This includes candies like Candy Corn, Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, and other sour candies. Too many of these can cause a stomach ache.
So sugary sweets are ok if they sneak a piece, but what should be avoided entirely? You want to keep your pet away from treats containing raisins, macadamia nuts, or coffee, as these can be toxic. You also want to keep an eye out for the ingredient xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly used in sweet treats like chocolate and gum. When checking an ingredient list, you might see the ingredient “sugar alcohols,” which could be xylitol. Remember, if you’re ever unsure about a treat, it’s best to avoid giving it to your furry companion.
What are you and your pet going to be for Halloween? A witch and her cat? Maybe Shaggy and Scooby? Whatever you choose to dress up as, here are some tips that can help make dressing up as fun and safe as possible for you and your pet.
Most importantly, you want to ensure the costume does not hinder any senses. The costume should not interfere with their sight, hearing, smell, or movement. After that, you want to ensure the costume doesn’t have any dangling or detachable pieces that can be potential choking hazards. Also, make sure not to leave your pet unattended while they’re wearing their costume.
Of course, you want your pet as comfortable as possible in their spooky outfit. So, give your pet a few days to strut around in their costume before their debut. You can also opt for a spooky-themed bandana, collar, or bowtie instead of a complete ensemble.
Now, we humans enjoy a good dress-up as well. And – just like our pets – there are some things to consider when picking your Halloween outfit this year.
The most important thing is to keep yourself recognizable. If your pup can’t recognize you, they may become fearful or aggressive. So, avoiding costumes with scary masks or full-body suits is best. Finally, just as you give your pet a few days to adjust to their costume, you can do the same! Try on your costume a day or two before Halloween, and let your pet get used to your new look.
Halloween means a lot of coming and going at your home. This busy environment might cause your pet to become frightened or run away. Consider creating a safe space or room for your pet this Halloween. This space can have some calming music playing, their favorite toys and treats, and their food and water.
If you decide to take your pet out on the town, make sure to have them leash-trained or in a carrier and don’t let the little kids walk the dog tonight. Even if they know how to walk them, you don’t know what costumes or animals might come down the street and how your pup might react.
Finally, if you have a lovely black cat, it’s best to keep them inside around and on Halloween. Unfortunately, black cats are plagued by some mean rumors and bad associations with Halloween, so they are more likely to be attacked or intentionally harmed this time of year.
Halloween is the time of year to find the fun in being scared. But our pets don’t enjoy a good scare quite as much as we do. Following these tips can help make this time of year perfectly spooky, not scary, for you and your favorite furry companion.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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