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Fri October 29, 2010
Halloween Can Be a Nightmare for Pets
We humans may enjoy this haunted holiday, but for our pets it can be intimidating, terrifying, even deadly.
By Mindy Norton
This is Halloween weekend, a scary time for all of us, but especially for our pets.
From their point of view, their routine is disrupted by the doorbell ringing and strange people showing up making lots of unusual noises and asking for candy and other goodies.
And when they act like pets, barking or hissing at these intruders, they're told to be quiet!
Confusion isn't the only problem for pets at Halloween. The candy and treats themselves can pose a risk for pets.
That includes ingesting cellophane wrappers which could cause intestinal problems.
Xylitol which is used to sweeten some candy can be toxic to pets.
And of course, chocolate is a big no-no for pets.
It's best if you make sure all candy and treats are kept away from your furry friend.
In fact, you might want to put your pet in another room, away from the door that's constantly being opened. That way, you don't have to worry about the dog trying to nip at a costumed trick-or-treater, or the cat slipping outside while you're handing out goodies.
Some animals don't seem to mind wearing costumes, while others can be traumatized by them.
Make sure any costume for your pet does not restrict its ability to see, hear, breathe or move. And avoid costumes that are secured with rubber bands, which can restrict blood flow and cause circulation problems.
Instead of staying home, you may be among those who are going out for the evening. If so, what are you going to do with your dog?
An animal tied up in the yard or confined inside a fence could be an easy target for pranksters. And letting your pet run loose is never a good idea.
If possible, keep your pet (dog or cat) confined in the house or garage for its own protection.
Halloween can be a lot of fun for us humans, what with all the parties and tasty candies and other goodies.
For our pets, it can be just the opposite - frightening and dangerous.
It's up to us, especially at Halloween, to make sure that our best friends stay safe and feel secure and loved, when we're speaking of pets.
Speaking of Pets with host Mindy Norton (firstname.lastname@example.org) is for people who care about pets and about humane treatment for animals in general, and who want to celebrate that special relationship between us and our animal companions. Find out more about Speaking of Pets at Alabama Public Radio.