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Sat October 27, 2012
Pets and Halloween - Maybe Not Such a Great Combination
As we celebrate a holiday that usually means a lot of fun and maybe even some excitement for us humans, remember that our pets may not be quite as enthusiastic about the festivities.
The spookiest time of the year is here once again - Halloween. Folks dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating and munch for days on the yummy candy bounty they collect. People also decorate their homes – in fact, Halloween is the second most popular holiday after Christmas for seasonal decorations. And because we humans think of our pets as part of the family, we want to include them in the festivities, as well.
While we may think it’s really cute to dress our pet like a pirate or a hotdog or even Batman, our pets may have a different opinion. Some animals tolerate costumes pretty well, but others could be uncomfortable or even frightened about wearing something that restricts their ability to move or see or hear or breathe. If you plan to dress up your pet for Halloween, try its costume on ahead of time. If your pet seems upset or distressed, think about something more simple, like a festive collar or bandanna.
Candy can also pose a danger to our pets. Most folks know that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can be dangerous for dogs and cats. Some candy contains the artificial sweetener “xylitol” which is toxic for animals. Even the cellophane or aluminum foil wrappers can cause digestive problems if eaten. The best plan is to keep all candy away from pets – no people treats for our furry friends.
Even if your pet is microchipped, it’s a good idea to make sure your dog or cat is wearing an ID tag. In the unlikely event that your furry friend dashes out the door when you open it for visitors or trick-or-treaters, the combination of ID tag and microchip can increase the chances that someone will be able to help your pet find its way back home.
If you are going out to do a little trick-or-treating of your own, it’s probably best to leave your pet at home, indoors, where it won’t be frightened by all the strange costumes and noises and where it will be safe from any pranksters who could cause it harm.
There’s no trick to keeping your pet healthy and protected at Halloween. You can treat yourself and your best friend to a safe and happy Halloween with a few simple precautions when you’re speaking of pets.