Halloween can be a festive, fun holiday for families but what about your pet? Keeping your family pets happy and healthy during the Halloween season doesn't need to be scary if you follow a few simple guidelines from Pet Expert Cheryl Hansen. And if you're interested in adorable Artie, a black pug mix, click here.
1. Trick or Treat candy is for kids! Not pets. Chocolate can be deadly for dogs and many of those Halloween treats contain artificial sweeteners, raisins or other ingredients that are also potentially harmful. Wrappers and lollipop sticks present choking hazards too.
2. Keep pets inside and away from the door!! Secure your pets in a room away from the front door and doorbell. Turn on the TV or radio to block noise from outside and the bell.
3. Watch out for Halloween dcor, electric cords and other enticing shiny decorations. Use LED rather than candles as those can be knocked over by kittens or pups.
4. Costumes may be a fun way to mark the holiday but only if your pet enjoys the experience. When choosing a costume, be sure the garment doesn't inhibit movement, present a tripping hazard, impair vision or hearing, or costumes featuring beads, plastic or other embellishments that might cause a choking or digestive issue if chewed off the costume.
5. If you find the perfect costume, plan to "practice" with your pet. Dress your pet and go for a walk, visit the pet store or go to the neighbors for a test drive. If your pet is uncomfortable or fighting the costume, forget it.
6. If you plan to take the dog with you while trick or treating (which is only a good idea if you have a very mellow, adaptable dog), consider a reflective leash, LED collar and ALWAYS have current ID as well as a current picture of your pet should they bolt or become lost.
7. Black cats and dogs often come to harm around Halloween. Pay particular attention to protecting them from unscrupulous characters.