Ghouls, ghosts and goblins! Halloween is nearly upon us, and stores have started selling spooky decorations to celebrate the season. However, not all of these decorations are great for pet owners. Read on to find out how to make sure your festive skeletons and pumpkins won’t harm your beloved pet.
1. Pumpkins: According to the ASPCA, pumpkins aren’t toxic to pets. However, some dogs and cats will get stomachaches if they take a bite out of your decorative carved pumpkins. It’s best to keep pumpkins outdoors. If that isn’t possible for you, place your pumpkins on surfaces your pet can’t reach. If you have a dog, you should be able to put your pumpkin safely in a windowsill. Are you a cat owner? Keep your pumpkin on a high surface that your cat can’t reach, such as a bookshelf.
2. Spooky decorations: Pets don’t like to be alarmed, which makes those “gotcha!” decorations that are triggered when you walk by especially frightening. Place those decorations at a height where pets can’t trigger them. If that doesn’t work, install these decorations on your front door. Your guests will get a fright instead of your pets.
3. Pet costumes: Some pets are tolerant of playing dress up, but others hate it. If you buy a costume, put it on your pet a few times before Halloween. If he doesn’t like it, don’t make him wear it. Costume manufacturers recommend running your hand along the seams of the costume and have your pet run around in it to make sure it fits properly and doesn’t constrict your pet’s gait or breathing.
4. Chocolate decorations: I know, you probably are just planning to keep the candy in a bowl (or in your stomach). However, some people create or buy Halloween decorations that involve actual candy. Pets can sniff it out pretty easily, and that can be dangerous to them. If your pet is the kind who eats anything, don’t buy or display chocolate decorations. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is deadly for dogs. Experts say that dark chocolate and baking chocolate are more dangerous than milk chocolate, but if you’re not watching, your dog can easy ingest a large amount of chocolate that could sicken or kill him. It’s best not to risk it and leave the Snickers wreath to someone else.
5. Electric decorations: Manufacturers have come out with a lot of great talking and moving Halloween decorations in recent years, but many of them need to be plugged in. Some pets, most notably rabbits and ferrets, love to chew on electrical cords. If your pet indulges in this pasttime, only buy decorations that run on battery power.