Oct 26, 2010 3:12 PM by Elaine Sheridan
Halloween is a holiday known for its tricks as well as its treats and can be very fun for people, but for animals it can be dangerous.
Pets like a familiar environment, and an evening with the doorbell ringing nonstop and strangers with masks and frightening costumes coming to the door may not be the idea of fun for a lot of critters.
Trick-or-treaters can often be loud and rowdy, and this behavior is frightening to pets. In fact veterinarians say Halloween is second behind the 4th of July for animal emergencies.
Therefore, it's good to make sure your plans are pet safe. Here some tips for making sure that your pets are safe this Halloween.
1. Keep the candy for the kids. . Although chocolate is a well known pet-safety hazard, artificial sweeteners and other candy ingredients are also dangerous for your pet. Make sure children keep their treats out of Fido's reach and don't leave candy out to temp them. Dogs are notorious for scarfing up candy left on the floor or in bowls on the coffee table
2. Watch for escape artists. On Halloween night, you'll probably be opening your door for trick-or-treaters every few minutes. Make sure to check that your dog or cat stays inside after each visit. Curiosity and/or fear can even make homebodies dart out the door.
3. Make sure your pets are clearly tagged. It's easy for an animal to escape on Halloween night, so make certain that your pet is wearing a collar with contact information on it. Brighter colors are easier to see and a reflective collar might be a good idea.
4. Keep your pets close to home, particularly the black cats. Unfortunately, Halloween brings out the dark side of some people who use the holiday as an excuse to torment or otherwise injure an animal they find lose on the street. Black cats seem to get the brunt of this abuse on Halloween
5. Costumes and kids can frighten pets. Use caution when taking your dog trick or treating with the family. Even if your pets are good with children, not all children are good with pets. It may be a good idea to keep your pets away from a child who could startle them into an aggressive or defensive attack. Normally sweet dogs have been known to bite kids wearing costumes.
6.Choosing pet costumes. Make sure you choose a Halloween costume that's safe for pets. Avoid strangulation hazards and parts that affect vision or movement. If your dachshund looks completely miserable dressed up as a hot dog, then let him out as soon as you've taken a few photos.
7. Be careful with the decorations. A Jack O'Lantern with a candle or glow stick in it may be beautiful for you, but it's also fascinating for your pet. Reduce the risk of singed whiskers or poisoned bellies by keeping dangerous decorations out of your pets' reach.
8. Minimize stress while you're away. If you plan to go out for a party or other Halloween fun, leave the radio or television on. The noise can mask loud noises your pets hear from the outside festivities.