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Treat Your Pet to a Safe Halloween

These pets all look cute (and comfortable) in their Halloween costumes!
These pets all look cute (and comfortable) in their Halloween costumes!

It’s that spooky time of the year – Halloween!  This year, October 31st falls on Monday.  Some neighborhoods may plan trick-or-treat activities on Saturday, or even Sunday, but some folks are going to celebrate on October 31st no matter what day that is.  To me, that means making sure my furry friends are safe and protected from Halloween activity and mayhem from now until Tuesday.

     So what can you do to make sure your pet stays safe on Halloween?  Start with identification.  Make sure your pet has identification at all times, including a collar (or harness) and tag with your name and phone number – a good idea for Halloween even if your buddy is microchipped, so someone could call you if they find your pet.

     If you put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits well – not too tight, and not too loose, and no elastic bands.  A costume should not limit your pet’s ability to move, or breathe or see or hear.  If your buddy seems frightened or uncomfortable, let it stay home, indoors and away from loud noises and pranksters. Never leave your pet outdoors unattended on Halloween.  Pranksters have done harmful things to loving pets, all in the name of fun. 

Limit your furry friend’s access to Halloween decorations, like pumpkins, flashing lights or loud noises that might frighten your pet.  A lit candle could cause a fire if a pet knocks it over. 

And keep all candy away from your buddy.  You probably know that chocolate is harmful to dogs and cats, but candy that contains xylitol could kill your dog; grapes and raisins can also be harmful, and those cellophane or foil wrappers can cause serious digestive problems in animals.

     The trick to keeping your pet safe on Halloween is to treat it with care, and with an attitude that shows you are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure your best friend is comfortable, and safe, even when things get scary, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.