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Pets Dressing Up for Halloween

Halloween dog - andreaarden.jpg
Cute Frog (or dog) ready for Halloween, AndreaArden [Flickr]
Halloween can be a fun time for us but maybe not so much for our pets. It’s up to you to keep your best friend happy, healthy, safe and comfortable amidst all the tricks and treats.

Is your pet dressing up for Halloween?  If so, you’re not alone.  Cute pictures posted of pets dressed as bananas, hot dogs, pirates, football players, even a lion, complete with a long shaggy mane, are inspiring pet owners to take it to a new level.  With Halloween coming up this weekend, you may be planning to put your pet in a costume for the occasion.  Before you do, make sure your pet is comfortable.  Some costumes can restrict an animal’s movements, or its ability to breathe or see, which could frighten or stress a pet, making it react in unexpected ways.  Consider trying it out ahead of time to be sure your furry buddy is okay.

This can be a scary time for our pets, anyway – noisemakers, people wearing masks and making odd sounds, strangers coming to the door.  I like the idea of putting a pet gate across the outside of your front door.  Then when you open the door, your pet won’t be able to run out and may feel more protected.  A sure-fire way to keep your pet safe is to close it in a quiet room while the trick-or-treaters come and go.  If you decide to take your pet outside with you, keep your pet on a short leash - and don’t forget that ID tag, so others can help your buddy find its way home if you get separated. 

During the Halloween season, candy is everywhere.  Most folks know that chocolate can be deadly for pets.  Candy and chewing gum sweetened with xylitol can also be toxic for dogs.  Even the foil or cellophane wrappers around the candy can cause digestive problems if swallowed.  If you suspect your pet has eaten anything that causes discomfort, call your veterinarian immediately.

And if you’re going out and plan to leave your pet at home, it should stay in the house or a confined area like a laundry room or garage, safe from Halloween pranksters. 

You can treat yourself and your best friend to a safe and happy Halloween with just a few simple tricks, when you’re speaking of pets.

Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.