Halloween may be fun for children but it can be a traumatic and even dangerous time for your pet. Here are a few common sense tips to protect your pet on Halloween.
- Keep your pet away from the front door. Keeping your pet in a separate room during the trick-or-treating hours is best. At an open door, dogs in particular, may feel the need to "protect their home and humans" and may bite your bizarre-looking visitors. Your pet may also become frightened dart out through the open door.
- Don't leave your pet out in the yard (front or back yard) on Halloween. There are plenty of stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen, even killed pets on this night.
- Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets. Chocolate is poisonous to many animals, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.
- Be careful of pets around candles and lit pumpkins. These may be easily knocked over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting badly burned.
- Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know he loves it. This may put added stress on the animal. If you do dress up your dog, make sure the costume isn't constricting, annoying or unsafe. Be careful not to obstruct his vision, even the gentlest dog can get snappy when he can't see what's going on around him.
- Finally, some humane organizations fear that certain pets, primarily black cats, are at risk of becoming unwilling participants in the darker side of Halloween activities, and elect to halt adoptions of these animals until after the holiday. For safety reasons, owners of all pets, particularly black cats, should keep an especially close eye on their pets around Halloween.
Remember that your pets are depending on you to keep them safe from the more dangerous goblins and ghouls that this holiday brings out.