Halloween can pose hazards for family pets

Posted: Friday, October 20, 2000

Halloween can be a festive and fun time of year for children and families, but for family pets, it can be a stressful and even dangerous time of year. The Gastineau Humane Society offers pet owners keep their pets safe during this time of year:

Don't leave your pets out in the yard on Halloween: There are plenty of stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen, even killed pets on this night.

Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween: Black and all white cats in particular may be at risk from children's pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. Many shelters, including GHS do not adopt out black cats around Halloween as a safety precaution.

Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets: Chocolate is poisonous to a lot of animals. Tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.

Be careful of pets around a lit pumpkin: Pets may knock it over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned.

Don't dress the dog or cat in costume unless you know that he or she loves it. Otherwise, it puts too much stress on the animal.

If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe; it should not constrict his or her movement, hearing, or ability to breathe or bark. Also, there should not be small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces on the costume that your pets could choke on.

Be careful not to obstruct your pet's vision; even the sweetest animal can get snappy when he or she can't see.

All dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room during trick-or-treat visiting hours; too many strangers in strange garb can be scary for a dog or cat.

When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, be very careful your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.

Make sure your dog or cat is wearing proper identification. If for any reason they escape and become lost, you greatly increase the chances that they will be returned to you.

For more advice about caring for your pet, call The Gastineau Humane Society at 789-0260 or visit our web-site at www.ghspets.org.

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