Planning to transform your pooch into a dinosaur, Yoda or a pirate for Halloween? Or perhaps you feel your cat’s personality is best captured as a pumpkin this season? Halloween costumes for pets can be found as close as the grocery store, but regardless of how precious pet costumes seem, they pose risks.
SPCA Florida’s McClurg Animal Medical Center provides care and treatment to animals year-round. Medical Director Dr. Boyd Harrell issued the following warnings:
- Beware of foreign objects — Costumes often have dangling or small pieces pets may chew off.
- Look out for health risks — Pet costumes may fit tightly around the neck or straps may strangle them.
- Prepare for aggressiveness — Spooky costumes and a continuously ringing doorbell can cause pet anxiety or abnormal behavior including fear aggression or stress-induced trembling.
- Micro-chip your pet — Constant door opening can give pets opportunities to dart out. Be sure your pet is micro-chipped and the contact information is up to date.
- Protect pets from “toxic treats” — Unguarded bowls and bags of candy also pose a risk if pets consume chocolate or other toxic “treats.” Even festive holiday decor like carved pumpkins and corn can cause upset stomach if swallowed.
The best place for your pets during festivities like trick or treating is in a quiet and secure room with a few of their favorite toys and fresh water, Dr. Harrell said.