Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Can Be A Fright


The scariest night of the year is almost here.  Even though Halloween is a favorite holiday for many adults and children, pets may not be as excited about it.

Halloween night arrives, the witches, goblins and ghosts ring the doorbell constantly.  Loud noises can be very frightening to dogs, cats, and other pets.  Very social dogs and cats may be perfectly fine with it.  However, all others should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during prime trick-or-treating hours.  Too many strangers in costume can be exceedingly stressful for Fido and Fluffy.

What a wonderful costume you saw for your pet!  Again, your pet may have a different idea.  Just because you think it is cute does not mean that he/she will enjoy wearing it.  If your pet truly does not mind you dressing him up, make absolutely sure the costume is safe and comfortable for him.  It should not constrict movement or hearing.  It also should also not hinder his ability to breathe, bark, or meow.  If your pet balks at being in his fancy costume, why not let him wear a fun bandana instead?

Halloween is a very bad time for cats, especially black ones.  There are those people who think Halloween is the perfect excuse to hurt or kill felines.  Keeping your cats inside or in a protected, safe area for a few days and nights will insure their well-being.  If they are used to being outside they might whine and groan, but again, they will be much better off where you can keep a watchful eye on them.

Adult parties are great fun for adults.  While an adult might handle being intoxicated relatively well, your precious pets cannot handle it at all.  Some may think that a drunken animal is a funny animal, but that type of humor can kill your furry friends.

You might want to consider not leaving any lighted candles or Jack-O-Lanterns easy to get to, which could be knocked over by an exuberant dog or curious cat.  Not only could a fire be started but the animals could also burn themselves severely in the process.  In addition, use caution when hanging decorative lights.  If your pet thinks the wires are the new chew toy, he might receive a life-threatening electrical shock.

Trick-or-treaters are not the only ones begging for Halloween candy.  Dog and cats are notorious for wanting a treat or two.  Remember, chocolate is not a sweet reward for them.  It is deadly in any amount.  Candy wrappers, such as tin foil, can get stuck in their digestive system when eaten and cause a frantic rush to the veterinary hospital.  With so many recipes available to make homemade dog or cat treats, you just might want to make them their very own “goody bag”.  However, if you do suspect your pet has eaten something  that will cause him problems, please call your veterinarian immediately  or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Trick-or-treating, going to parades, etc. as a family can be a wonderful fun time for everyone, except possibly your pooch.  Before bringing your dog along, be sure he is fine with strangers and noise.  The last thing anyone would want is for your dog to get stressed or fearful.

If while you are opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog does not dart out and become lost.  A collar with tags and/or a microchip can be your and his lifeline, increasing the chance that he will be reunited with you quickly.

If you take a few extra steps before the holiday, potential dangers and problems for your pet can be greatly reduced and all of you can have an enjoyable festive time.

Hope you and ALL the members of your family have a very Happy Halloween!



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