Whether you’ll be carving pumpkins or pounding the streets to go trick or treating, Halloween can be an especially frightening time of year for household pets. MoneySuperMarket is sharing its top tips for looking out for your pets and makes sure Halloween doesn’t take a spooky turn for all the wrong reasons.

MoneySuperMarket’s pet insurance expert, Dave Merrick, offers his tips for keeping your pet safe this Halloween

  1. Halloween Treats: Most owners will know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but not everyone will be aware of the danger that sweets present. Some sweets contain xylitol – a sweetener that can be more damaging to dogs than chocolate. The reason chocolate is so dangerous for pets is because the ingredient theobromine is highly toxic to both dogs and cats. In addition, chocolate and sweet wrappers can be harmful if your pet swallows them, potentially causing your pet to choke or even creating a blockage – so be cautious. Keep sweet treats out of reach and don’t leave any rubbish around – no matter how well behaved your pet is!
  2. Playing dress up: Many of us like getting creative and dressing up for Halloween, and sometimes our pets get involved too! If you choose to do this, then make sure the costume fits your pet comfortably and doesn’t cause them any distress. Check the fit to ensure the outfit isn’t unsafe or constricting them. Also, make sure your pet can see clearly and that there are no elastic bands on the costume which could be a choking hazard.
  3. Watch out for candles: Creating the ultimate Halloween ambience often involves using candles or tealights to show off your newly carved pumpkins. Animals are attracted to bright lights in dark rooms, so be especially cautious with inquisitive kittens or puppies. If you are going to light candles, keep them out of reach and supervise pets.
  4. Be careful with any spooky decorations: Just like at Christmas time, it is important to keep any items pets could choke on out of their reach. Small decorative items could be the perfect size to cause an airway restriction if swallowed. 
  5. Trick or Treaters visiting your home: Where possible, keep your pets indoors on Halloween night. It may also be worth keeping four-legged friends in a separate room when you expect a lot of trick or treat visitors. Keeping your pet in the same space will reduce any stress caused by ringing doorbells and the opening & closing of doors. Some pets can get worked up by strangers visiting the house, especially scary looking ones!
  6. Calming supplements: There are lots of calming products on the market which are designed to help animals cope better with stress, which may be worth considering if your pet is particularly anxious. Research thoroughly and read the small print to check which ingredients are used to ensure that you make the best choice for your pet.  

Pumpkin ghost dog

Dave Merrick, Pet Insurance Expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented, “As a nation we love our pets, but they can get themselves into trouble and cause some mischief from time-to-time. Think about ways that you can make them feel more at ease, sticking to your routine as much as possible. If you want to treat your pet this Halloween, then make sure you’ve stocked up on pet safe treats or a new toy to preoccupy them.

“Even a small number of sweets or chocolate could make animals poorly and result in a costly trip to the vets. If you suspect they may have gotten their paws on any unsafe treats you should always seek advice from your vet. If you’ve got a pet insurance plan in place, it will often offer a level of protection for any treatment that may be required.

“Our tips will certainly help to keep your pets calm during the Halloween celebrations, but for peace of mind it’s important to make sure you have the right pet insurance in place!”

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