Questions for Dr. Shawn - Halloween Safety
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”Here are some great tips to keep Halloween safe and fun for your pets, courtesy of the American Humane Society:
Keep Your Pet Safe, Indoors or Out
Help your pets stay safe by keeping them away from the door, where they can accidentally escape as you greet trick-or-treaters. Taking your pet trick-or-treating can be fun, but steer clear of noisy groups of little ghouls and goblins. If your pet shows any anxiety, take her back home, as a frightened pet is likely to run.
If you have a black cat, you have a special problem. The mythology about black cats being related to witches can lead strange people to do strange things to them. Even kids who mean no harm may yell when they see a black cat – scaring the cat much more than the cat scares them. It may be best to keep your frightening feline in another room for the evening.
Pet Halloween costumes are popular, but your pet doesn't understand Halloween and may not feel comfortable being dressed up, especially if she is not used to wearing any kind of clothing or adornments. If you choose to dress up your pet, it’s important to make sure she can move freely and won’t stumble over a costume that hangs to the ground. Never tie anything around her neck – like a cape or jewelry – that could choke her.
The Best Pet “Treat”
For your pet’s safety, she should wear a collar with an up-to-date ID tag all year round, and with so much Halloween activity, it’s even more critical this October 31st. An additional method of owner identification – such as a microchip or tattoo – can provide added assurance that your pet will be returned to you if she gets lost, but should not replace an all-purpose ID tag.
Open-flame candles and pumpkins with lit candles are especially dangerous because a pet's fur can catch on fire. Some Halloween decorations are small or kinetic and can be easily eaten and cause choking or intestinal blockage.
Pets and Candy
Candy can make a pet sick and can even be lethal. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine, which can make pets very ill and could even cause death if consumed in enough quantity. Even a small amount of xylitol, an ingredient found in many artificially sweetened products, can be harmful. So be safe, and keep all candies out of the reach of your pets. Instead, buy some treats that are safe for animals, and teach your pet a special Halloween trick – like “play dead” – to earn her treats.
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