27 Oct 10

Halloween Safety Tips (Pets!) ...

by Pamela Fitzpatrick, of YourDogWalkers, shihtzu58@optonline.net

Halloween Safety Tips for your Pets!

Halloween is only a few days away and with pet costume parades, parties and trick-or-treating happening across Long Island many people want to include their pets in the fun. People often take their dogs along when trick or treating with their children, and those doggie costumes sure are cute! Here are some things that can help keep your pets safe when October 31 rolls around.


Halloween can be a wonderful time spent with our pets, many people will adorn their dog, cat, goat or horse in costumes – but keep in mind not all pets like to wear clothes.  If you decide to dress up your pet please make sure it’s not too stressful for them. Some animals are fine with costumes, but it can be a great source of anxiety for others.   Just like their human counterparts, pet costumes should be properly sized, and non-constricting. Check for vision obstructions, and buttons, strings or ties that could create a choking or strangulation hazard.  Remove the costume if your pet is unattended.  A tip to help your pet get accustomed to wearing a costume is have them wear it in the house for a little while each day while supervised, to get used to it.  If your pet absolutely refuses, fights you, tries to “rub off” the clothing – then a costume is not for your pet.  Never force your pet to wear a costume!


Since Halloween is on a Sunday this year, there are more likely to be more trick-or-treaters ringing your door bell and a lot more activity in your neighborhoods.  Some pets do great and don’t seem to mind, but others can be very nervous or frightened with the constant knocking, door bells going off, strangers in costume, etc.  It’s probably best to keep your dog and cat away from your front door when the neighborhood children come to call. Dogs and cats are often frightened by all the commotion. A more adventurous pet might see the open door as an opportunity to bolt. Just in case, make sure your pet has proper identification on at all times. There’s always the possibility that a dog could view costumed visitors as a threat, (even someone they know) so don’t take any chances. Never leave your pet outside on Halloween. They could easily be harmed or stolen. Black cats are particularly at risk this time of year. Also if you don’t normally you’re your pet, don’t make Halloween a day to do so, costumes and screaming kids could definitely make it an unpleasant experience.  Finally, make sure you pet doesn’t eat any of the trick-or-treat candies – many ingredients are toxic to dogs and cats.

Holiday Decorations

Candles create a spooky ambiance, but they are easily knocked over by pets (and kids!). Consider using battery operated candles, which flicker realistically and are worry free. Always keep spider webbing, balloons, and other decorations out of your pets reach.

With a little planning, you can have a safe and fun day that includes the four-legged members of your family. Happy Halloween!

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