At certain times of year, such as the Fourth of July and Halloween, pets experience increased stress and anxiety. Halloween, which is right around the corner, may not have fireworks and loud noises like the Fourth of July, but it still makes pets fearful. Here are some tips to reduce your pet’s anxiety and keep him safe this Halloween. 

#1: Keep candy and candy wrappers away from pets

Candy is a popular treat that brings pleasure to people, but can be hazardous for pets. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two ingredients that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity, and increased thirst when ingested in large amounts. Candy and candy wrappers, in general, can cause digestive issues or lead to intestinal blockages. We recommend placing your Halloween candy out of your pet’s reach to avoid temptation. If your pet does ingest chocolate, you should call our hospital immediately at 406-245-4772.

#2: Keep glow sticks and glow jewelry out of a pet’s reach

Glow sticks and glow jewelry are fun accessories that children often use on Halloween. The illuminating chemical in glow sticks is dibutyl phthalate, which has an unpleasant taste and causes a reaction when ingested by a pet, who may become irritable, drool, or vomit. She may also paw at her mouth or develop redness around her eyes and skin where the chemical comes into contact. Dibutyl phthalate is not toxic to pets, but will cause discomfort, and you should contact us if you suspect your dog or cat has ingested the chemical.

#3: Place lit candles and jack-o’-lanterns in safe places

A favorite holiday tradition, families often light jack-o’-lanterns and candles to decorate the house; however, they are potential fire hazards if curious pets are tempted to play with flickering candles, and accidentally knock them over or injure themselves. If your pets will encounter your candles or jack-o’-lanterns by any chance, consider moving them to a low-traffic area or switch to battery-operated candles. 

#4: Watch pets around Halloween decorations

Spooky decorations can become a dangerous toy to a pet in minutes. Watch your pet around decorations to avoid her choking or ingesting loose objects and chewing on electrical cords. Halloween decorations can cause serious digestive issues if swallowed, and may require surgery to remove. Please contact us if your pet encounters trouble with Halloween decorations. 

#5: Watch out for stranger danger

Cats and dogs can easily be spooked by trick-or-treaters who visit your house. Place your pet in a separate, quiet room away from the holiday commotion to keep her calm. In the room, provide calming items, like her favorite toy or bedding. Create a peaceful atmosphere by playing soothing music or spraying the room with comforting synthetic pheromones, such as Adaptil or Feliway. If your pet continues to be anxious around strangers, talk with our team for other options to reduce her fear and stress. 

#6: Beware when trick-or-treating with pets

Walking around the neighborhood with your dog is a great form of exercise. But if you head out on Halloween, ensure your dog’s collar or harness is not too loose and her leash is sturdy. People in costumes can easily scare her and she may flee, but a well-fitting collar or a harness with a sturdy leash will reduce the likelihood that she will escape and get lost. If your dog becomes overwhelmed, consider taking her back home where she will be safe and secure.

#7: Update your pet’s identification

Regardless of your plans to stay home or go out, your pet needs updated identification. Accidents happen, and pets get loose and separated from their family. Pets with identification have an increased chance of returning home. Microchips and collars with tags are the best forms of identification, but you must keep the contact information associated with the identification up-to-date. If your pet isn’t microchipped, contact our team.

Do you need to help reduce your pet’s stress on Halloween night? Contact our team to get calming solutions for your furry friend.