By Nomi Berger
It’s that time again. For goblins and ghosts, pumpkins and pranks, and things that go bump in the night. But as responsible pet owners, please ensure that your dogs and cats aren’t innocent victims of Halloween’s fun and frolics.
Consider the following suggestions to keep your pets safe not sorry.
1. Keep candy out of reach of your pet. Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, can prove toxic for both dogs and cats. Candy containing the artificial sweetener, xylitol, can also cause problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435
2. Although pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively non-toxic, they can still produce an upset stomach if nibbled on by your pet.
3. Keep wires and cords from lights and other decorations out of reach of your pet. If chewed, your pet might be cut or burned or receive a potentially life-threatening electric shock.
4. Although festive, carved pumpkins with candles inside can be easily knocked over by your pet and a fire started. Curious kittens in particular run the risk of being singed or burned by a candle flame.
5. Keep costumes for your children and away from your pets unless you’re certain they’re comfortable being decked out, not stressed out, by putting on the “glitz”. Or opt for a Halloween-themed bandana draped round your pet’s neck.
6. Keep all but the most social dogs and cats in a separate room when “trick or treaters” come to call. Even then, take care that your pet doesn’t dart outside when the door first opens.
7. Should your pet “pull a Houdini” and vanish, ensure that he/she has either been micro chipped or is wearing a collar and tags for proper identification and a swift return to your anxious arms.
With some strategic planning beforehand, you and your pet can be assured of spending the safest and happiest of Halloweens together.