Halloween festivities are filled with ghoulish costumes, sweet candy and lots of trick or treating. The spookiest night of the year can be fun for kids and adults, but stressful and scary to even the most well-behaved pet. The Houston SPCA encourages pet parents to “treat” their furry friend right and take the following precautions to make sure their pet stays safe and healthy this Halloween.
- Identification. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and identification tag and / or microchipped with current information. If they escape out an open door and become lost, this information is their ticket home.
- Leave your pet indoors. Avoid taking your pet trick or treating. Even the most well-tempered dog may panic and become aggressive if a ghost or goblin jumps out of the bushes. Instead, keep your pet in a quiet room, away from the noise, excitement and strangers in costumes. Keeping your pet safely indoors will also eliminate the possibility of them becoming a victim of mistreatment, teasing, chasing or abuse.
- Candy Warning. Chocolate can be toxic to your pets, especially dogs. Xylitol, the artificial sweetener found in some candy can be poisonous to dogs as well. Loose candy wrappers made of aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockage and vomiting. Ask kids not to share their candy with pets.
- Decoration Alert. Keep lit pumpkins and candles out of your pet’s reach as they pose an obvious fire hazard. Ribbons, streamers, electrical cords, confetti and those fake cobwebs can all be dangerous if ingested by a curious pet.
- Pets in Disguise. As cute as it may be to dress up your pet, costumes can restrict an animal’s ability to bark, breathe, move, see or hear. Be especially careful when using costumes which use rubber bands as they can cut into your pet’s skin and cause injury. Opt for something simple and fun like a Halloween bandana.
Make sure to keep your veterinarian’s and local animal emergency phone numbers by your phone or on your refrigerator so it can be located easily in an emergency.
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