Halloween is coming up and in honor of that I wanted to do an episode focusing on some of the common dangers & stressors that come along with this spooky season.
Here are some things to take into account to keep your pets safe.
Stash the candy
You can’t think about Halloween without thinking about all of the candy that goes along with it. While this is super fun for us humans, candy is obviously not something we want our pets ingesting. Chocolate is one hazard we all probably already know about but a sneaky one is xylitol. Xylitol (also called birch sugar) is poisonous to your pet even in very small amounts.
Be Careful with Candles
Open flames & pets don’t mix well. Be aware of candle & jackolantern placement to prevent accidental burns or fires.
Also skip the artificially scented, chemical- laden scented candles, air fresheners & wall plugins. Studies show that when burned, candles pollute the indoor air & release “more than 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including some that are classified as toxic or hazardous by federal laws” (1).
Many of the popular candles are made with paraffin wax. This wax is a byproduct of the petroleum industry & releases carcinogens when it is burned.
Instead, if you want to make your home smell like a pumpkin cupcake or falling leaves you have a few options.
- Consider researching pet-safe essential oils (I love Dr Melissa Shelton’s books the Animal Desk Reference for this) to diffuse. https://animaleo.info
- Look for beeswax or non-GMO soy wax candles with natural fragrances & either wooden or unbleached cotton wicks
- Try a simmer pot (supervised only) on your stove with orange peels, apples, cinnamon, and other spices.
Use Barriers & Make Sure ID Tags Are Current
Halloween can be loud & scary for your pets. Trick or treaters coming to the door in weird costumes,the doorbell ringing over & over again, spooky soundtracks, etc.
Make sure your pet has updated ID tags on them & consider using something like an airtag to attach to them temporarily.
Also consider using baby gates or crates to keep your pet’s away from the door that will be opening & closing all night long.
Think Through Costumes or Use Less Stressful Alternatives
Not all dogs are going to be okay with elaborate costumes that may impair their vision or movement. You know your dog best, if you are planning to have them in an elaborate outfit, do a couple trial runs with lots of positive reinforcement before the big night. Remember, Halloween night is going to have a lot of additional stressors & distractions so this shouldn’t be the first time your pet wears their costume.
If your dog is not cool with a costume here are some less stressful but still seasonal alternatives:
- Halloween-themed bandanas, collars or leashes (Support your local pet boutique)
- If your dog is okay with wearing t shirts & sweaters you could look for (or make) a themed outfit
Other Stress-Free Ways to Celebrate Spooky Season with Your Pet
- Create some themed lick mats & enrichment activities
- Pick up some pumpkin or spooky themed treats from your local pet boutique
- Go on a pumpkin patch walk/ visit
Hopefully you found this info helpful! Remember, our pets don’t know it’s Halloween and it’s not worth stressing them out for our own enjoyment. There are lots of ways to celebrate the season with your four legged companions.