October 21, 2020 Responsible Pet Ownership

The Hidden Risks of a COVID Halloween for Pets

A Kitten Wearing a Halloween Costume

The Hidden Risks of a COVID Halloween for Pets

Halloween will be different this year because of the coronavirus. For the safety of human family members, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists Halloween activities with low, moderate and high risk. But these guidelines do not address our animal companions when recommending a modified Halloween celebration. Using the CDC’s recommended low and moderate risk activities for coronavirus, I will highlight how these activities actually may be high risk for your pet.

Pets and Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is so much more fun than it used to be with all the patterns available on the internet. I especially love using a drill on a pumpkin to create fun designs. Once your jack-o-lantern is ready for illumination, be sure to use a battery-operated flicker candle inside. Curious dogs and cats can easily tip over a pumpkin, starting a fire or even catching their own fur on fire. Pumpkin is a pet-safe fruit, but once the Jack-o-Lanterns are past their prime they tend to get moldy and should no longer be a snack for your furry goblin.

Pet-Safe Halloween Decorating

Halloween decorations typically involve lights, and lights need cords. Puppies and kittens are fascinated by cords and frequently gnaw on them when teething. If your pet is a youngster, hide the cords or skip the lights.

Pets and Halloween Candy

Socially distanced trick-or-treating is the way to go this year to keep the humans safe. But, for dogs, an unguarded candy stash poses a significant risk. Chocolate, raisins and sugar-free candy containing xylitol can all make your pet extremely ill, so keep the goody bags away from them. Should you find your four-legged Halloween monster has helped themself to the trick-or-treat bag, here are the telephone numbers for 24/7 help and guidance.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control | (888) 426-4435

Pet Poison Helpline | (855) 764-7661

Halloween Costumes for Your Pet

This seems like a very safe and fun activity. The American Kennel Club made a list of their favorite dog costumes, in case you need any inspiration. My foster kittens, Fern, Flaxseed and Foxglove think they are lions and have chosen to dress up as their favorite feline for Halloween. The photo accompanying this blog is Fern modeling their lion head costume.

If your pet has a costume picked out, be sure to tag us on social media so we can share your favorite devilish dog or frightful feline with our community. Our handle is @amcny on Instagram and Twitter, and @TheAnimalMedicalCenter on Facebook.

Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, halloween, halloween costumes for pets, pet poison, pet poison hotline, pet safety,

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