- Some pets will let you dress them up while others will not. I know if I tried to get my cat in a witch costume my efforts would be rewarded with talon-inflicted wounds that may or may not require stitches. Scary, I know! The point I’m trying to make is don’t force costumes on your pets. You know them and their temperament so act accordingly.
- For those of you who have pets that like to dress up, be very careful what costume you choose. Make sure the costume isn’t too tight, especially around the neck. No amount of pet insurance will bring your pet back from the dead if it is strangled by its costume.
- Costumes can be fun but be sure to have a test run before Halloween. This way your pet can get used to the costume in a comfortable, familiar environment. You don’t want to find out your pet is freaked out by its costume when you have children at your door yelling, “Trick or Treat!”
- Jack-o-Lanterns and Halloween go hand in hand. If you use candles in your carved pumpkins be sure there placed somewhere your pet can’t knock them over. Nothing puts a damper on Halloween fun like a house fire!
- On Halloween, or whatever day your community allows children to Trick or Treat, consider keeping your pets inside. Even the most docile animal can react negatively to the loud, frenetic stimuli it will encounter on Halloween. Keeping your pet inside promotes safety, for the children combing the neighborhood for candy and for your pet. Your furry best friend will be calmer and happier with you inside your home.
- On a similar note, when trick-or-treaters ring your doorbell be aware of where your pet is. You don’t want Fido to bolt out the front door and slobber all over the kids in their costumes (or worse run off or attack someone). One way to avoid this type of situation is to put up a portable doorway gate and keep you r pet on the other side of it. This way your pet can be involved in the Halloween festivities but in a safe and controlled manner.
- Just in case your pet does escape on Halloween make sure its wearing its collar and that the tags on the collar are up to date and all information on them is accurate. There’s nothing worse than losing a pet!
- Handing out candy on Halloween can be a real joy! You get to see all the neighborhood children dressed as superheroes, princesses and zombies; their faces lit up with the fun of it all (and because of the ingestion of copious amounts of refined sugar). However, many varieties of candy can be extremely harmful for pets, especially chocolate. So, if you have a big bowl of candy for the kiddies keep it out of reach of pets. I hope you never have to experience your pet being poisoned but if it occurs call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or contact your family veterinarian.
- If you really go for it on Halloween decorating make sure that any electrical cord are kept out of reach of your pet. With you lavishing all that attention on trick-or-treaters your pet may get bored or jealous. This may cause them to act up and start chewing on things like the aforementioned electrical cords. What brought Frankenstein’s monster to life will have quite the opposite effect on your pet!
You and your pet can have a lot of fun together on Halloween but remember: Safety First!