– Written by Professional Pet Care Specialist Erin Bubrink
Halloween is a very fun time of year and a favorite for many people. However, Halloween can be a very dangerous and scary time for your pets. So, we have compiled some tips on do’s and don’ts for you furry loved ones at this time of year:
1. DON’T ever give your pet candy.
Candy may be toxic for your pet and the wrappers can be especially dangerous. Chocolate isn’t the only harm in candy bags, either. Raisins can be toxic and anything with xylitol in it.
2. DO exercise your pet BEFORE the trick-or-treating festivities begin.
The crowds of people dressed in costume can be overwhelming for even the most social pets and we don’t want to put them in any situation that may compromise their safety or the safety of others.
3. DON’T dress your pet in a costume.
I know, it is fun and they look adorable. Costumes can be very confining, though, and many pets do not like them.
** If you ignore this and dress your pet up anyway, DO NOT ever leave them unsupervised as they could injure themselves severely should they decide to try and get the costume off. They may also ingest pieces of the costume or fall and hurt themselves. Costumes should not have loose pieces and should not obstruct vision, hearing, or movement.
4. DO keep your pet inside in a quiet room away from the commotion.
If you leave your pet outside, they could be subject to pranks. They also may get scared or agitated. Inside, allow them to be in a quiet place they enjoy so they will not be stressed by the influx of trick-or-treaters.
5. DO keep your pet away from lit candles and pumpkins.
Your pet could easily be burned investigating the flame or start a fire if they were to knock over the candle or pumpkin. Also, be aware of other Halloween decorations. Spider webs can be an enticing toy or snack for pets and can cause trouble should they not be able to safely pass it.
6. DO make sure your pet has proper identification.
Be sure your pet is microchipped and/or has a collar with an identification tag. Microchipping is one of the best ways to make sure your pet can be found if they become lost, but you have to remember to update addresses and phone numbers when you move.
7. DO make your pet some yummy treats they can enjoy.
Recipes can be very quick and easy and can provide a safe alternative for your pet to enjoy the festivities as well. Here are two recipes pulled from a quick internet search:
Easy Homemade Biscuits For Dogs
Your dog won’t be able to resist chowing down on these edible bones that are a cinch to make at home.
Makes about 5 dozen
1-cup all-purpose flour
1/4-cup wheat germ
1/4-cup brewer’s yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup low-sodium canned chicken stock, plus more for brushing
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
2. Place oil in a large bowl. Add chicken stock and flour mixture in three alternating batches, beginning and ending with stock. Mix well.
3. On a lightly floured work surface roll out dough until about 3/8-inch thick. Shape the biscuits using a dog-bone-shaped cookie cutter or by cutting around a store-bought dog bone with a butter knife. (Make biscuits that are appropriate for your dog’s size.)
4. If desired, you can spell out your dog’s name or a holiday message in the dough with a toothpick (wet the toothpick first so it won’t stick).
5. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
6. Bake biscuits 10 minutes. Brush with stock; rotate baking sheets, and bake 10 minutes more. Turn off oven, leaving door closed. Let dog biscuits stand in oven to dry completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Wrap as a gift, or store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Crunchy Tuna Cat Treats
Makes about 3 dozen treats
- 1 (5 ounce) can tuna, no salt added and packed in water, drained
- 1 cup oat flour*
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon dried catnip
*It’s easy to make your own oat flour. Simply grind old-fashioned oats in a spice grinder (or a super clean coffee grinder) until it is transformed into a light powder. There you have it — oat flour!
1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine drained tuna, oat flour, egg, olive oil and catnip. Blend until mixture is smooth. It will be thick but pliable and not terribly sticky.
3. Roll dough into 1/2-teaspoon balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Use a skewer to press an X-shape into each cookie ball.
4. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until they are dried on top and slightly browned. Allow to cool completely before offering to your kitty.
5. Place treats in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Hopefully, these tips will allow you, your family, and your pets a safe and enjoyable Halloween.