Lansing, MI - As Michiganders put the final touches on costumes, decorative displays, and plans for trick-or-treating, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) would like to remind owners of some of the best ways to keep their pets healthy and safe this Halloween.
"When preparing for Halloween, it is important to consider the needs of our pets, so they won’t have any unexpected scares or additional stress,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “From keeping them away from the candy bowl to ensuring they have up-to-date identification, there are many precautions owners can take to keep their animals safe this Halloween.”
Keep animals safe this holiday by following these five easy tips:
- Unsafe Eats: Give Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters—not your pets
Unfortunately, pets cannot enjoy all of the same treats and food we do. Be sure to keep candy or other sweets containing chocolate, raisins, and/or xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in many candies and gum) away from pets as these ingredients can be hazardous.
- Search No More: Make sure pets have proper identification
With opening the door for all the trick-or-treaters, it can be easy for pets to sneak out and get lost. Make sure pets have identification tags and/or up to date microchips with current contact information to improve the chances they are returned home.
- Destress and Decompress: Have a quiet space for your pets
Having a constant stream of visitors can be overly stimulating for pets. It is important to have a quiet space set aside for them to go if they are getting too stressed. Also, have the room stocked with their food, water, litter pan, etc. in case they would like to maintain their distance for an extended period of time.
- Avoid Temptations: Keep Halloween decorations and wires out of reach
Spooky decorations and lights not only make for a frightful display but also catch the eye of our pets. If consumed, these items could cause intestinal blockages or other injuries. Be sure these items are out of their reach, along with candles with an open flame, glow sticks, and potpourri.
- Cautious Costumes: Be thoughtful when selecting a costume for your pet
Our pets might not share the same enthusiasm for costumes that we do, causing them stress and discomfort. Beyond making sure your pet is comfortable in their outfit, ensure the costume does not restrict their movement or breathing or has small pieces that can be chewed off and become a choking hazard. Also, don’t leave a costumed pet unsupervised.
Following these tips can help keep your animals safe and healthy through the holiday. If there are any concerns about your animals’ health either now or throughout the year, please talk to your veterinarian.