The end of October is fast approaching. Soon it will be October 31st and Halloween will be upon us. Read on for my tips and tricks to enjoy a petacular Halloween!
Petacular Halloween Costumes
This wouldn’t be a proper petacular Halloween post if I didn’t start off with a paragraph about pets in costumes. The resident pets at my house have suffered through a few costumes over the years. Just like harnesses and collars, it is important that costumes fit right and are safe. For example, don’t let the puppy chew off the pom poms on the cheerleader costume. But if your dog or cat is comfortable in the clothing, costumes are a lot of fun!
Keeping Pets Safe on Halloween
To have a truly petacular Halloween, it is important to keep your pets safe. In my experience, Halloween comes with two main hazards for pets. Make sure to keep the following safety concerns in mind.
1. Strangers at Open Doors
Trick or treating is an integral part of Halloween. While, it is fun to hand out candy to all the costumed neighborhood children, don’t forget to make arrangements for your pets. Frequent opening of the front door gives both cats and dogs frequent opportunities to exit the house. Having a pet dart out the front door can be a scary experience any time of year. Halloween adds to the risk in a few ways. First, it is normally dark out when trick or treating occurs. Two, the humans outside your door are wearing costumes, which can scare pets. Scared pets are often harder to catch. Additionally, black cats are at higher risk of being harassed on Halloween.
I recommend keeping cats in a different room during trick or treating hours. For most dogs, a baby gate in front of the door prevents door darting. If your dog is afraid of strangers or barks at the door, they may be more comfortable in a separate room also. Strangers in costumes are extra scary.
2. Chocolate (and other candy)
The second main hazard of Halloween for pets, is chocolate (and other candies). Keep candy up and out of reach. This includes sugar-free gums, as many of these contain xylitol (which is toxic to dogs).
If your pup (or cat) does manage to get into chocolate on Halloween, the ASPCA has a mobile app with a handy chocolate toxicity wheel. Of course, this app is a guideline, and I still recommend consulting with your veterinarian in a toxicity case. For more information on chocolate toxicity, check out this article on veterinary partner .
And now that we have talked about the dangers of Halloween for pets, here is a picture of baby Glia in a witch’s hat.
A Halloween Treat for the Pets
Finally, since Halloween is mostly about treats, Glia and I attempted a quick and easy recipe for a pumpkin treat for pets (mainly dogs). Make sure to make your dog do a trick for this treat!
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup oats
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Combine the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, oats, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until blended.
- The dough was pretty wet, so I ended up pressing it onto a pan prior to cutting out the treats. (Note, reducing the amount of canned pumpkin would help reduce how sticky this recipe was).
- Cut out cute shapes and place on a baking tray.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve to your dog!
- If desired, refrigerate or freeze some to help them last longer. The high moisture content means that these treats do not last very long if left on the counter.
Honestly, this recipe turned out okay and Glia was happy to munch down these treats. However, I think she liked the peanut butter apple treats better.
That’s all for this post. I hope all of my readers enjoy a fun Halloween with your furry companions.
What are you and your pets doing for Halloween this year?