Happy Halloween, everybody!
(Image: Trick or Treat by Sara Harvey – fetch it at Multiple Personality)
If you plan to enjoy Halloween with your pups tonight, be sure to keep them safe and happy. Here are some great Halloween pet safety tips courtesy of Fetch! Pet Care, the nation’s largest provider of professional pet-sitting and dog-walking services, who are donating a portion of their Halloween revenues to Best Friends Animal Society:
Tricks are for kids. While ghouls and goblins provide entertainment, your pet does not understand the person behind that mask is their friend. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and can easily become frightened, aggressive or agitated by the unaccustomed sights and sounds of costumed visitors. So when the trick-or-treaters come knocking at your door, it’s best to keep your furry friend contained indoors in a quiet, comfortable area of your home. Also, make sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags in case they get spooked and escape your home or yard.
Candy is not a treat for our pets. Sweets may look appealing to pets, but candy – especially chocolate – can be downright toxic to animals. Keep your candy bowl out of reach from pets and make sure your children sift through their bags at a table where Fido can’t sneak a piece. Candy wrappers can be just as harmful. Instead, purchase a box of your pets’ favorite treats for them to munch on. If you believe your pet has ingested a harmful item, call your veterinarian or the Animal Control hotline immediately.
Decorations should shock Trick-or-Treaters – not our pets. Keep all electrical cords and decorations out of reach. One chomp on an electrical cord could have a potentially deadly outcome. Pets can also become tangled and injured by dangling cords or decorations. You can purchase plastic tubing or casing at your local hardware store to provide some level of safety. Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach and on stable ground. Your pet could accidentally bump the pumpkin, resulting in fire damage to the home – and potentially to your pet.
Costumes are constraining. Yes, your pet may look adorable as a dinosaur or Cleopatra, but pets can feel constrained and uncomfortable in costumes. Many costumes also have loose accessories that could be hazardous if chewed or swallowed. If you must dress your pet, find a costume that has few accessories and is loose fitting.
Extra care for black pets. Don’t let your pet fall victim to Halloween pranks; keep them inside or under supervision during the Halloween season. This is especially important for pets with black fur, since they are a target for pranksters.
Now, off to work on Mingus’ Boba Fett costume…