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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween is a silly and fun day for children and families, but for family dogs, it can be a stressful and even treacherous time of year. Canine Therapy Center offers pet owners some commonsense advice to help keep their feline and canine friends safe, and reduce anxiety during this spooky time of year. 
 
  • Don't leave your dog in the yard unsupervised on Halloween. Unfortunately, not everyone is a dog lover and vicious pranksters may tease, injure, steal or even kill your dog on this night.
  • Don’t forget the cat!  Keep your cats indoors several days before, during and after Halloween. This is especially true for Black cats that become prime targets for children's pranks and cruel acts.
  • Walk your dog before trick or treating begins and grip to the leash securely. Halloween masks and screaming kids can freak dogs out so it’s best not to subject them to such experiences.
  • Keep trick or treat candy away from pets. This is especially true for dogs and chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean. Theobromine increases urination and affects the central nervous system as well as the heart muscle. While amounts vary by type of chocolate, it's the theobromine that is poisonous to dogs. Tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can also be hazardous if swallowed.
  • Candle lit pumpkins and pets can be a bad mix: they may knock it over and cause a fire. Curious kittens and playful puppies especially run the risk of getting burned.
  • If you choose to dress your dog or cat in costume, pay close attention to their willingness to participate. If they resist being dressed-up, stop doing it. It puts too much stress on the poor animal.
  • If you do elect to dress your pet in costume, make sure the costume isn't irritating or unsafe; it should not constrict movement, hearing, or your pet’s ability to breathe or bark. Also, there should not be tiny, dangling or easily chewed-off parts on the costume that your pet could choke on. Dress your pet several times before Halloween to acclimate him or her to wearing the costume. Pour on the positive attention and make it fun!
  • Do not allow the costume to obstruct your pet's vision; even the most tolerant animal can get snappy when he or she can't see.
  • For the sake of all parties concerned, dogs and cats should be confined during trick or treat time. The sudden increase in traffic of strangers in bizarre attire ringing the door bell and knocking on the door is certain to excite your dog and unnerve your cat.
  • If you elect to allow your dog to be a trick or treat greeter, be very careful that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside. If your door allows, remove the top half of your screen/storm door and pass the candy through the opening.
  • As always make sure your dog or cat is wearing proper identification. Collars with ID are good, but you should also consider having your animal micro-chipped so that if they escape or become lost, you increase the chances of someone returning your beloved pet.
  • If you are certain that your dog can handle the excitement and/or stress that goes along with family trick or treaters (and an adult), be careful that he doesn't become overheated or chilled (in colder climates).
3:57 pm edt          Comments


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