Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Pet Safety

Our magical healer sent us this great reminder for Halloween safety. I wanted to share it with all of you. Oh, and this baby picture of Lulu. I'm not kidding when I say she's a clown, am I?

Halloween is a great time of the year for children and adults alike – as we look forward to fun, costumes, trick-or-treating, and candy! Unfortunately it can be especially stressful and pose hazards for your beloved pets. Here are some great tips to help keep your animals safe and sound this Halloween season.

One alternative to having the trick-or-treaters come to the front door and ringing the bell would be to have a station with a table, chairs and candy set up at the end of the driveway. This way the pets are inside and not upset by the constant bell-ringing, the door is not providing a chance for them to slip out, and they do not get nervous with the different costumes.

Please keep your pets inside as they may become easily agitated or frightened by the kids, costumes, and loud noises. By keeping them secluded in a quiet room away from all the activity, you can ensure that they do not escape through an open door. You could give your pet food, water, and even some special treats or a safe toy to play with while they are in the room. Please have collars and tags for identification on them, just in case they do manage to escape!

Keep cats inside several days prior to and the night of Halloween. Sadly cats are often the victims of pranksters’ cruel tricks.

Make sure you walk your dog early in the evening, to avoid the crowds.

If you decide to dress your pet in a costume, please make sure it is lightweight and non-constricting. Don't use rubber bands, as they can constrict blood flow if too tight, can become entangled in an animal's fur, and may even be left mistakenly on the pet. Do not leave him/her in the costume unattended as they could chew it up and ingest harmful materials or become entangled and choke.

If you are escorting children for trick-or-treating, leave your pets at home. Dogs get can excited and stressed when encountering all these "strange laughing, squealing" creatures and may become agitated enough to snap at a young child. If you must take your dog with you, keep it on a short leash and away from large groups of children and other pets.

Tell the children not to share their candy with the family pet. Chocolate can be toxic to animals – causing vomiting, restlessness, heart issues, or even death. If you think the pet has eaten chocolate, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Wrappers and lollipop sticks should be discarded into the garbage as they can be hazardous to your pet if swallowed by causing intestinal obstructions and even perforating the intestines, which is life-threatening.

Be careful with jack-o-lanterns, candles, fake spider webs, and other decorations. If they ingest the decorations they may become ill, and if they knock over a lit candle they may get burned or start a fire.

Halloween can be a fun day for all of your family members – two and four legged – if everyone remains safe.

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