With the big Halloween holiday right around the corner, many folks across the country are planning their big Halloween bash. Whether you plan on having a small family get-together or plan on going all out with “spooktaculor” decorations and out-of-this-world costumes, keeping little ghosts, ghouls and goblins out of harm's way is paramount to a safe and happy “howling Howl-ween.
While Halloween is loads of fun for humans, it can be dangerous for our four-legged friends if proper precautions are not taken. If you are an animal lover or pet parent, keep Fido and Fluffy safe this Halloween by following the following pet-safety tips.
Food - Pumpkins and corn can cause tummy upset forpets. Very small amounts of grapes or raisins can be fatal. Please keep out of paws reach. Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for more information.
Glow-in-the-Dark Dangers – While glow sticks and glowing jewels are fun for humans, they pose a risk to pets. Cats and dogs may consider them chew toys and while not life-threatening, they can cause pain and irritation.
Sweet Treats - Keep those delicious sweet treats and goodies away from all of your furry friends! Some candy can not only pose a choking hazard, but chocolate and candy containing the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, can be downright dangerous! Please keep them out of reach! Besides keeping candy away from pets, don’t forget the wrappers! Those foil and cellophane wrappers can be dangerous.
Decorations - While decorations can be fun for humans, certain decorations may be hazardous for pets. Keep strings, streamers, ribbons, bells, wire, bags, electrical cords, spider webs out of reach.
Candles – Keep all burning candles, including burning Jack-o-Lanterns, out of reach of children and pets. Invest in flameless candles – no mess, no worries.
Keep Indoors - Keep all your pets inside when trick-or-treaters are outside! If you have a black animal, please do not let him or her outside during the treat-or-treat time! Sadly, some people torture or harm animals during Halloween, especially black cats. If you suspect animal cruelty, please contact your local law enforcement or humane society immediately.
Keep Secure - Please keep all pets away from the front door! With the doorbell ringing and the door opening and shutting, all the unusual commotion and unusual costumes and masks may scare your pets. Some may even become aggressive. Keep your pets secured in a safe, quiet area of the home. You sure don’t want Fido or Fluffy bolting out the door! And remember - some children are afraid of pets as well.
Costumes - While pets may look downright adorable all decked out in Halloween garb, dressing your cat or dog up in costumes may cause undue stress and harm for him or her. Plus, some pet costumes may restrict an animal’s breathing, movement, vision and/or hearing and may also pose a choking hazard. Make sure he or she is always supervised when wearing a costume Instead of dressing Fido or Fluffy up in a traditional costume, why not consider a more creative approach – a temporary tattoo? While some may consider this controversial, using a safe, non-toxic pen to draw cute pumpkins, paw prints, spiders, etc on fur can be an alternative to dressing pets up in cumbersome costumes.
Identification - Make sure all your pets have proper identification and/or microchips. Just in case Fido or Fluffy bolts out the front door, one of the best ways to ensure they will be returned to you is to make sure they are wearing collars, up-to-date tags or are micro-chipped.
Baby, It’s Dark (and Cold and Rainy) Outside - If you and Fido are going out-and-about on Halloween, you not only want to be able to see, but want to make sure others can see you, too. Practice safety first – wear protective tape and carry flashlights.