Pet Safety on Halloween

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Between the stress caused by a stream of trick-or-treaters at the door, the risks of escape (and pranksters), and the dangers of decorations and chocolate, your dogs and cats need your extra attention and protection on All Hallows Eve to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Help Fido and Felix enjoy this holiday just as much as their humans by taking a few precautions and following these tips:

Trick or treating

As much as you might want your pretty little Pug or lovable Lab to accompany you and the kids on the Halloween rounds (especially if you have a costume for them), trick-or-treating is just plain stressful for your dog. The sights and sounds of this holiday are pure sensory overload, and could result in unwanted behaviour (like biting or bolting) from even the normally best behaved canines. You're better off to leave your pooch at home and have fun instead by taking a photo of the dog or cat in costume and entering it into an online photo contest.

Costumes

Some pets actually do love to play dress up—but the majority do not. And most will only put up with a costume for a short period of time before trying to extract themselves from it. If you do decide to dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume fits, isn't restrictive to their movement (or with elastic that is just plain uncomfortable), doesn't obstruct their vision in any way, and has no small pieces or removable decorations that they could bite off or swallow.

Sweets 

It's no secret to dog and cat owners that "people food" is bad for animals—especially chocolate. But add to the mix the chaos of a children's costume party or oblivious youngsters with a sack full of temptation, and these poor pets just can't help but get into trouble. Save yourself a trip to the vet hospital—or worse—by segregating your pets to a safe and stress-free room of the house. If you feel guilty about locking them up for the night, buy them their own small bag of treats or bones and let your kids give them to the dog or cat once guests have gone home and all the sweets and decorations have been put away.

Decorations 

Lit Jack-o-lanterns, extra cords and electrical wires, and exotic foodstuffs, like gourds and dried corncobs, are fun and festive but potentially harmful to your pets. Decorate away, but leave your pets locked in the den for their own safety until the party has ended and the decorations have been packed up for next year.

Not-so-merry pranksters 

According to animal rescue and welfare organisations, Halloween night has a higher rate of animal abductions than any other night of the year. Don't leave your cat or dog outside, even in a fenced-in garden, and make sure they are wearing proper identification. Unfortunately, there are cruel people out there prone to "petnapping" on Halloween night—especially black cats—and will torture or even kill your beloved family pet as part of a senseless prank. Keep all domestic animals indoors when unchaperoned for the three days surrounding Halloween (the day prior, day of, and day after) for their own protection.

If you are especially worried about your pet on Halloween, you can always hire a pet sitter to watch him for the night.

Hope you and your pets have a safe and Happy Halloween!

 

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