Halloween is such a festive and exciting time of year, but that can mean some entirely different for our pets.  While we enjoy the thrill of dressing up and gathering up all the sweets our bodies can handle, the type of excitement that is experienced by our furry companions is usually more along the lines of anxiety.  In fact, it’s not only stressful… it can be downright dangerous.  Pet ownership comes along with a mile-long list of responsibilities and among them, keeping pets safe on holidays.  Here are some things to keep in mind on the spookiest day of the year:

Keep Outdoor Cats Indoors!

It’s such a sad fact and truly not something that any of us wants to think about, but being unpleasant doesn’t make it untrue.  Cats are extremely vulnerable on Halloween, for a number of reasons.  The most obvious is that they are the target of pranks and cruelty-related incidents.  We don’t need to tell you that black cats are at an even higher risk than others.

Consider the Increase in Traffic

Another thing that makes Halloween particularly dangerous for pets is that there is a significant increase in traffic, both on foot and by vehicle. We already mentioned keeping your outdoor cats inside, but consider doing the same for dogs.  Even if they only go outside for a potty break, be sure to accompany them.  Avoid letting dogs roam freely, and don’t leave them in your yard unattended.

If you absolutely must bring them along with you when you go out, consider using a reflective collar or vest.

Be Selfish With Your Sweets

That is to say that you should not share them with your pets.  It’s seems a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised to know how often pets fall ill because their owner shared something they shouldn’t have.  Also consider that pets are both sneaky and agile. Don’t turn your back on your candy bag.  They’ll snatch it in a heartbeat.

The most common dangers found in Halloween candy are chocolate and artificial sweeteners (such as Xylitol), both of which can have varying degrees of side effects… they may even be fatal if your pet consumes enough.  So, keep an eye on your stash and keep it well out of your pet’s reach.

In addition to these three tips for their physical safety, also remember to safeguard your pet’s emotional and psychological well-being on this super busy day.  Don’t allow your doorbell to ring every few minutes if you know it’s going to torment your dog or cat.  If it bothers him, consider setting up a table and chair out front and away from the door. In extreme cases, your veterinarian may even recommend a prescription medication to help your pet relax.

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