Happy Halloween everyone! As you can tell by the recent changes to the site Halloween is a favorite holiday of mine. While it is no doubt one of the funnest nights of the year for us....it can be one of the most dangerous for our furry buddies. Here are a few tips on how to have a safe and happy Halloween night with your pets.
1. KEEP THEM INSIDE!!!
Halloween is scary for our cat and dog friends. The doorbell constantly ringing, the front door constantly opening, loud screaming kids outside walking past the house for hours at a time...it can be very traumatic for them. Best bet is to keep them in another room away from the door. Set up a bed, some toys, food and water somewhere safe and quiet where they can hang out until the mayhem stops.
2. PROTECT BLACK CATS!
I know it sounds medieval and you are probably thinking "no one would do that nowadays..." but trust me...there are some sick people in the world who will steal and torture and/or kill black cats around Halloween. Most shelters and pet stores actually refuse to adopt out black cats in the month of October for fear they will be sacrificed by psychos with nothing better to do. I can tell you first hand that when I was a child our black cat Midnight disappeared just before Halloween. When we found her she had been spray painted orange and had dental floss wrapped around her limbs. She survived thank god, but no pet I have ever owned in my adult life has ever been allowed to roam free since. Cats belong inside.
3. BE CAREFUL OF JACK O'LANTERNS & CANDLES!
Whether you have a lab with a strong tail or a curious kitten....fire and pets don't mix. An animal walking past a candle or lighted pumpkin could easily catch it's fur on fire, as well as knock over a lit decoration with its tail. They sell fantastic flame free lights now to put inside pumpkins that look just as good and are so much safer. Give those a try this year and avoid potential fire hazards.
4. BEWARE OF CHOCOLATE!!
Plain and simple...chocolate is poisonous to pets!! Where you keep your candy bowl and your childs booty bag can be the difference between life and death for your buddy. Don't believe me? When I worked at an animal hospital in DC a few years back we had a family who came running in our front door 2 days after Halloween with two huge standard poodles that were both barely alive. While the technicians worked to save them the owner told me they had come home to discover the gigantic bowl of candy that was on the dining room table overturned on the floor...every piece of candy consumed...wrappers and all. Both dogs died. The family was absolutely devastated. Don't let this happen to you. Keep the goodies safely out of reach.
5. THINK TWICE ABOUT PET COSTUMES!
While I admit there is nothing cuter than a dog dressed as superman, bottom line is most of them hate it. All I can say is every pet is different. Yes there are some toy breeds who are used to clothes and may be fine with them, but at the end of the day they are ANIMALS....not little people. Costumes probably do nothing more than cause unwanted stress for your pet. If you really want Fido or Fluffy to participate, why not try a Halloween bandanna for a big dog? Or a cute collar with pumpkins on it for the kitty? The pet supply shops are full of those kinds of thing right now! That way they can join in the fun without suffering all night long. Just a thought! :)
Hope this helped. Have a safe and Happy "Howl"oween!!!