Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Keep pets safe for Halloween
Pets should not eat human candy
Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and can in a worst case scenario lead to death. Xylitol is also toxic to dogs (often found in sugar-free candies and chewing gum). Not even natural treats are safe; dogs should not eat raisins. Make sure children don't get the idea to share candy with the pets.
Some dogs are known for chewing down tin foil and cellophane, so make sure all candy wrappers are disposed of at once.
Keep your pets inside or at least under supervision at all times
There are several reasons for this. Many pets are scared by strangers showing up in unusual costumes, screaming for candy. Some pets get anxious and defensive, others might run away. On that note, makes sure your dog has an ID tag on the collar, just in case.
Pets left outdoors can encounter tricksters. It's hard to believe for a pet lover, but according to PetMD some people think it's fun to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets as Halloween pranks. This is especially bad for black cats, and in order to keep them safe, they should stay inside the entire week. (Many shelters won't even adopt out black cats during October.)
Even if visitors mean well, they might give a pet candy. Avoid a trip to the emergency room, and keep them in a safe place or well supervised.
Plan your doggie-walk
On Halloween, it might be wise to re-schedule the dog walk. Go for a walk before witches, fairies, Iron Man, and pirates appear. If you take another walk late in the evening, keep an eye on the ground so your dog doesn't eat dropped candy or wrappers.
Other good ideas for the evening walk is to carry a flashlight and use a reflective leash/harness. There are dog flashlights, and collars/leashes that light up as well. When lots of people are out and about, make sure they see your dog, for everyone's safety.
Use common sense
If a pumpkin is lit up by a candle, place it out of reach for pets. If a pumpkin is lit up by a glow stick, make sure the dog doesn't eat it. (Sounds far-fetched, but some dogs are veritable vacuum cleaners.) If you want your pet to use a costume, try it on a couple of days before Halloween and make sure it's comfortable. Some pets love wearing costumes and the extra attention that comes with it, others not so much.
~ Maria Sadowski~