Celebrating a Pet-Friendly Halloween

A cat with several pumpkinsFor many, Halloween is one of the most popular holidays to celebrate. Delicious treats, creative costumes, cool, crisp autumn evenings – what’s not to enjoy? It’s also a family-friendly holiday, which means thinking of fun – and safe – ways to include your pet in this year’s Howl-o-ween festivities.

Ghoulishly Good Pet Treats

While Halloween usually entails buckets of chocolate and candy for us, there’s no reason your pet can’t get into the feasting with some appropriate snacks made specifically for him or her. To keep your furry goblin happy, try some of the following pet treats:

  • Homemade pumpkin & peanut butter dog biscuits in the shape of ghosts and jack-o-lanterns
  • One cup of light, unbuttered/unsalted popcorn
  • Tuna flakes or chopped, unseasoned chicken or turkey
  • A small handful of blueberries, banana chunks, or strawberries
  • Steamed carrots or green beans make a tasty dog snack
  • Halloween themed treats sold at any major pet supply store (but stick to one or two – moderation is key to weight management)

No Spooky Treats

There are some ingredients lurking in common candies and baked goods that could poison your pet if ingested. One such toxin is Xylitol, which is a sugar substitute used in many snacks, gum, peanut butter (select brands), and sugar-free candies. It’s important to read labels carefully and keep your pet away from the candy bowl. Other items that pose a threat include chocolate (dark and baking chocolate are the most toxic), alcohol, grapes, and raisins.

Tips for a Pet-Friendly Halloween

Holidays can create stressful experiences for your pet – especially if he or she has a fear of noise or strangers. Practice Halloween safety awareness by trying some of the following pet-calming strategies:

  • Keep your pet away from the door during busy trick-or-treating hours
  • Ask a family member to stay with your pet in a quiet room where he or she can get ample attention and treats during the busiest time of the evening
  • Attend a pet costume party or other pet-friendly gathering where others will also bring their costumed, furry friends
  • If you take your pet trick-or-treating with the kids, make sure he or she is wearing something that’s visible and reflects light
  • Update ID tags and microchip information
  • Make sure your pet doesn’t ingest any Halloween décor such as glow sticks or necklaces (as they contain toxic substances)
  • Choose battery-powered candles to avoid singed whiskers and other accidents
  • Costumes on pets are adorable – just avoid anything that prohibits movement, vision, or hearing or anything that has small, ingestible items like string or beads

With a few modifications, Halloween can be fun for even the furriest family member. From your friends at Prairie Ridge Veterinary Clinic, we wish you and your pet a happy and safe Halloween!