Top 10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Here are some helpful tips for this Halloween for you and your pets!

1.) No tricks, no treats!
        That bowl of andy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.  Chocolate in all forms-especially dark or baking chocolate-can be very dangerous for  dogs and cats.  Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems.  If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)-426-4435.

2.) Decorative plants
      Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3.) Electric Decorations
      Wires and cords from the electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets.  If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4.) Jack-O-Lanterns
     A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle.  Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire.  Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5.) To dress up or not to dress up
      Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets.  Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it.  (Yup, a few pets are real hams!)  For pets who prefer "birthday suits," however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress

6.) Pet costumes
     If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow.  Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him or her go au natural or donning a festive bandana.

7.) Choking hazards
     Take a closer look at your pet's costume and make sure it does not have a small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on.  Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8.) Strangers
     All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours.  Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9.) Open doors
     When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog does not dart outside.

10.) IDs, please!
        Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification.  If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

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