HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS FOR PETS
Courtesy of THE TIMES HERALD RECORD
Dr. Nikki, a 5-year-old pit bull mix, has completed her medical (OK, obedience) training and is in to see patients (adopters) at the Warwick Valley Humane Society.
Nikki came to the shelter in 2013, reported shelter President Suzyn Barron.
“She used to be undisciplined and disrespectful in her neighborhood. Since being here, she has excelled at school and one day will graduate into a responsible family.
“She is a hugger and a lap-sitter, despite her size, and likes to play dress-up. She is the perfect companion for couch potato parents who also like to go for long, leisurely walks.”
When dressing up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, sight or the ability to breathe and bark or meow. There should be no small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could cause your pet to choke.
Try a dress rehearsal first, and if your pet seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider a festive bandana instead.
There are many dangers out there for our pets on Halloween. Here are some tips to keep your Fido and Fluffy safe from ghouls and goblins:
– Keep the candy away from pets. Chocolate is dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing Xylitol can also cause problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
– Keep pumpkins and decorative corn away from pets. Considered to be relatively nontoxic, they can produce stomach upset in pets.
– Wires and cords from electric decorations should be out of reach of your pets.
– Exercise caution with lit jack-o-lanterns around pets.
– 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 them, and constant door opening could cause a quick getaway for your pet.
– Always make sure your pet has proper identification. Tags and/or a microchip increase the chance that he will be returned to you.
– Don’t leave your pets out in the yard on Halloween. Pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal and even kill pets on Halloween night.
– Keep outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk from pranksters. Many shelters do not adopt out black cats during October as a safety precaution, others are extremely strict as to who can adopt them.