Have a ‘Howling” Night with these Halloween Pet Safety Tips

This entry is article 3 of 6 in the September 2014 issue

Learn how to give your pets a safe and stress-free Halloween night with our helpful tips.

A simple rule of thumb here is “no candy.” It’s a well-known fact that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but candies that contain the “sugar-free” sweetener xylitol are also poisonous in dogs and possibly ferrets. Candy wrappers and lollipop sticks can also present a threat. Also, keep in mind that mini-boxes of raisins that are distributed as healthy snacks to people are extremely poisonous to dogs and should be treated just as you would the chocolate.

Keep Pets Confined and Away from the Door
The constant ringing of the doorbell can be stressful for your pets. Add to that the strangers dressed in costumes yelling “Trick or Treat,” and it can prove to be frightening. Keep your dog or cat in a secure place away from the front door. This is particularly important for dogs who are guarded with strangers or who may have a tendency to bite. Even dogs who are typically friendly may become anxious or unfriendly. This will also prevent them from escaping into the night.

Keep Pets Indoors
For their protection, cats, especially black cats, should be kept indoors at all times. Animals can often be at risk for cruel antics by Halloween pranksters.

Glow Sticks and Glow Jewelry
Cats, in particular, like to chew on these. While not toxic, they do have a liquid inside that can cause irritation to the mouth and excessive salivation and drooling.

Candles and Jack-O-Lanterns
Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach. Tails wagging and pets running around the house can accidentally tip over a candle or carved pumpkin, creating a fire hazard.

Pet Safety Clothing
While getting in the Halloween spirit consider reflective collars and gear for not only you and your children, but also your pets. This is a great safety item for Halloween and throughout the year (e.g., when walking your dog at night).

IDs Required
Make sure your pet is properly identified with a collar, ID tag or microchip in case he/she escapes while you’re attending to the trick -or- treaters.

Pet Costumes
Don’t dress your pet in costume unless you know they’ll be comfortable. They may look cute all dressed up, but they may not enjoy it as much as you and the kids. If you dress your pet in a costume, be sure it doesn’t restrict movement, eyesight or breathing. Your safest bet may be a loosely tied, colorful bandana. Also, don’t be tempted to color your pet’s fur. It may be labeled non-toxic to humans, but it could still be harmful to pets.

You, your children and your pets will be guaranteed a “howling” night this Halloween by taking a little caution and care with these simple tips.

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