Tips for Keeping Pets Safe at Halloween

Halloween, while a fun holiday, is also a time to take extra precautions to keep pets safe. Here are some helpful tips from the ASPCA and www.guidedogs.org.

Keep all candy out of reach of all pets. I discovered our cat Zombie likes candy corn and also the little chocolate miniature bars, so no more leaving them out in open candy dishes on the table. Make sure trick or treat bags of candy are also safely stashed. A good idea, in case someone manages to still find a forbidden treat, is to keep the ASPCA Poison Control number posted in an easily accessible place, like the refrigerator door. 1-888-426-4435.

If at all possible, keep pets inside in the days leading up to and the day and night of Halloween. There are many tales of animals being mistreated by cruel tricksters. Some may be urban legends, some may be true, but it’s best not to take any chances. Many shelters and rescues will not adopt out black cats right before Halloween for this reason. The many myths surrounding black cats are explained in detail at the Billings Animal Family Hospital website. As the owner of a black cat, I found it interesting to find out why they’ve been so misunderstood and maligned over the ages.

Untended candles and pets can be a recipe for disaster. If lighting up your jack-o-lanterns with candles, make sure to keep them away from pets. Better yet, if the pumpkins are inside, maybe use battery powered tea lites to make them glow.

Make sure pets are not able to escape out the door when greeting trick or treaters by putting them in a separate room or at least blocking their access to that open door. Increased foot and vehicle traffic on Halloween make the outside world unsafe for pets that night.

If your pet likes to dress up, make sure their costume is not constricting and that they can see and also relieve themselves with no trouble. If you plan to take them trick or treating with you, please keep them on a leash of no more than six feet and have some reflective material on their costume. Also, consider how your dog reacts to people in scary masks and costumes. If they are easily intimidated or may become upset perhaps it’s better to leave them home with a special treat of their own.

We all want Halloween to be a safe and fun time for everyone. Taking these few precautions will help keep it that way. 

Looks like maybe Zombie has found a place to hide out till Halloween is over!

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