Veterinary Professor Shares Safety Tips for Pets This Halloween

By Payton Tholstrup

Halloween is a lot of fun, but there are a lot of risks for our pets as well. Susan Nelson, clinical professor at the Veterinary Health Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine, shared some tips to help keep pets safe this Halloween.

Her first suggestion is keeping pets indoors before, during, and a few days after the holiday for their safety, especially black cats. “Cats, especially black ones, are often sought after with cruel intentions during Halloween,” Nelson said.

Another suggestion is keeping pets in a back room with a TV turned on to help block out the noises of doorbells and children which could cause stress.

“Be conscious of open doors, as some animals might make attempts to go outside,” Nelson also shared. It is important to make sure pets have some form of identification, like a microchip, a collar, and a tag. Reflective collars will help make pets more visible if they do escape outside.

If your pet is wearing a costume, make sure it doesn’t have any loose parts that could be pulled off and ingested. Also make sure your pet isn’t too stressed out by the costume. If they are, a Halloween-themed bandana is a great alternative.

Other tips and suggestions include:

– Keep candy out of reach to avoid any ingredients that might be ingested that are toxic to pets. Toxins include chocolate, Xylitol (a sweetener), raisins, and nuts.

– Keep in mind that pets might fear people in costumes.

– Keep pets away from electrical cords, decorations, and candles.

– Throw away moldy pumpkins – they can cause illness if a pet ingests them.

– Store glow sticks out of reach; they taste bitter and can cause drooling and agitation if ingested.

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