Halloween is right around the corner. While this holiday is a favorite of kids and adults alike, it’s not necessarily a great holiday for pets. The “Cs” of Halloween – commotion, costumes, unfamiliar children and chocolate – make this day a less than ideal day for many animals. If you take some extra steps before the big day, you can easily reduce the stress and potential dangers for your pet.
- Take a walk before the fun begins. Try to wrap up the afternoon/early evening walk before trick-or-treating starts in your neighborhood.
- Set up a quiet area within your home away from the front door and commotion. Cats should be secured away. Most dogs would also do better either in their crate or in a room far from the activity. This cuts the risk of your pet getting out when the door is frequently opened.
- Secure all cats indoors. Cats, especially black cats, are often victims of pranks and mischief. They can easily be frightened out of their normal territory by the unfamiliar site of strange people in costumes and the commotion of the holiday. A cat secured indoors is a safe cat.
- Treats are for kids, not pets. Chocolate and other sweets are deadly for pets. Keep all candy containers and trick or treat bags up and away from your pets. Dispose of wrappers in a secure garbage container.
- Beware of Halloween decorations. Make sure that all pumpkins or decorations with candles are displayed away from pets. Animals could be singed, burned or start a fire by simply knocking over pumpkins and candles.
- Think twice about dressing up your pet. Some dogs (and, yes, some cats) really do have fun dressing up and being the center of attention. See how your pet reacts before Halloween or before you head out to any pet-friendly costume event. It helps to do a few trial runs around the house and out on the leash in your neighborhood. Make sure the costume doesn’t restrict your pet’s movement or ability to breath, see or hear.
- Don’t forget ID tags. Make sure your pet has an ID tag with up-to-date information so that he or she can be returned home just in case of an escape. Throughout the year, many animals that did have a home end up in animal shelters because they were not wearing any ID when they became separated from their families. According to the Humane Society, only about 2% of cats and 15% of dogs that come into shelters as strays are returned to their families. Strays found with proper ID are quickly returned to their families.
Pet-friendly costumes and pet-healthy treats
Need a costume for your pet? Are you looking for healthy pet treats to reward your pet and others on Halloween? Stop by one of your local independent pet retailers to find out what type of costume will work best with your pet and for pet-friendly treats for the holiday. A few of the retailers that have costumes to chose from (and lots of treats) include – Doggy Style Pet Shop on Division, Follow Your Nose in Evanston, Barker and Meowski in Lincoln Park, and Parker’s Natural’s on East 55th Street. Wilmette Pet Center also has costumes and will donate $10 from the sale of each pet Halloween costume to Adopt-A-Pet.
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