Halloween Safety Tips for Petsby Karyn Zoldan on Oct. 30, 2012, under Cats Meow, Feline Fun, Dogs, Canines, Fun with Fido, Barking Encouraged, Pet Health & Safety
As cute as you think your dog is in his or her costume, do not take your pet trick or treating along with your kids. There are just too many things that can go wrong.
Remember Halloween candy is for the little kids and the big kids (you). Some kinds of candy like chocolate or made with Xylitol can be extremely toxic to pets. Keep the candy out of reach. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
If you do decide to dress up your pet, make sure the costume fits properly and does not restrict their breathing or vision. Only dress up your pet to amuse your family not strangers.
Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he or she could choke on.
Keep your pet in a separate room during trick-or-treat hours. Not only will this keep them safely in the house, but will also help reduce your pet’s stress as plenty of strangers will be coming to the door and ringing the doorbell.
Keep outdoor cats inside for a few days before and after Halloween to keep them safe from pranksters, especially black cats.
Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset for pets who nibble on them.
Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
A carved pumpkin is festive, but exercise caution if you add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
Ensure that your pet has on a collar with tag and the correct phone number If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that your pet will be returned.
In Tucson, if your pet becomes lost, immediately call the HSSA’s Lost and Found Department at 327-6088, ext. 111, and Pima Animal Care Center at 743-7550 to file a lost report and obtain information on conducting an effective search. Also be sure to visit each shelter every day to look for your pet in person.
(Photo: Gunny takes his Halloween responsibilities seriously. Submitted by Diane Burda)