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Having Fun and Staying Safe this Halloween

October 23, 2012

It’s almost that time of year when cute kids in even cuter costumes will be ringing our doorbells to receive their treats. We want to be certain that everyone, including our pets, has a fun time as well and with a little planning they can.

First, you need to know your pet. If your dog is not thrilled meeting strangers, then they will probably be happiest in a separate part of the house, away from all the comings and goings of trick-or-treaters at the front door. Also, it might be better to have a dog that isn’t used to children put away as well. If your pet does like company, make certain that they won’t be freaked out by people in costumes as most dogs are not accustomed to seeing small ghosts or Avengers showing up at their home.

If you own a cat, enclosing it in a room is probably the wisest decision. It would be very easy for a cat to dart out an open front door. You may wish to temporarily cover the cages of any birds that are in the same room as your front door also.  It will keep them from being startled or getting exposed to too many drafts from the door opening and closing repeatedly.

What about taking your dog trick-or-treating with your children? Again, consider your dog first. Is this something that you think he would actually enjoy? Will he stay calm while walking around a large number of children and adults dressed up in strange costumes? Not all children like dogs and some children are scared of them. For those children, being approached by a strange dog  would be more of a trick than a treat. If you do bring your dog along, keep him on a short leash, not a Flexi-leash, and don’t let him approach people who are out and about.

If you’re thinking about putting a costume on your dog, be certain to take some time before Halloween to get him accustomed to it. Many dogs will readily accept wearing a costume, but some will be scared and some will pull it off and destroy it. Give them some time to adjust to it, and if your dog is going out with you in a costume, make sure to get one that doesn’t hamper their vision or movement.

Last, but certainly not least, is be sure to put all candy up where your pets cannot reach it. Chocolate is toxic for most animals and large amounts of sugar are not good for them either. Making an emergency call to the animal hospital is not how anyone wants to spend the night on Halloween.

We hope you and your pets have a safe and fun Halloween!

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