CLEARFIELD – As more and more pets become part of the Halloween costume and trick or treat traditions, pet parents need to be aware of the dangers that accompany the holiday, advised Mountain Laurel Kennel Club members,
“We’re seeing more animals in parades, more making the rounds for trick or treat and certainly more costume choices for pets. It’s wonderful this holiday includes the entire family but there are safety and stress issues that must be addressed, especially if the one dressed up can’t speak up and say the costume is too tight or he can’t see,” said MLKC President Geremy Kephart.
Here are some safety tips provided by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
– candy is for people, not pets. Chocolate in all forms is dangerous for dogs and cats and foil and cellophane wrappers can be hazardous when swallowed. If you suspect your pet ingested a harmful substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
– autumn plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are relatively non-toxic but can produce gastrointestinal upset if eaten by pets. Intestinal blockages are possible if large pieces are ingested.
– keep wires and cords from decorations out of pets’ reach. Mouth damage from chewing and electric shock are true hazards.
– pets can easily knock over candles, even ones in Jack O’Lanterns. Curious cats are especially at risk for burns.
– carefully consider costumes. Unless you are sure your pet will tolerate dressing up, bag the idea. Wearing a costume can cause extreme stress.
– if you go the costume route, keep it simple and make sure it doesn’t restrict movement, sight or the ability to bark. Remove any tempting parts that dangle or can be easily chewed off and choked on.
– all but the most social dogs should be kept in another room during trick or treat times. Too many strangers can be scary or stressful.
– keep pets secure so they don’t dart out when the door is opened to trick or treaters. Make sure pets are wearing identification tags; a microchip is an even better option.