While Halloween can be a fun time for us humans, the activity and “treats” we enjoy can be very dangerous for our four legged family members. The ASPCA has come up with simple, easy to follow guidelines for making sure your cat or dog doesn’t get spooked out, or even worse, lost or sickened this holiday:
1. No tricks, no treats: Candy, including chocolate, can be poisonous to pets. Also, pumpkin can get lodged in the intestines and require surgery to remove.
2. Keep wires, cords and Halloween decorations away from your pets, as they can cause a life-threatening shock or intestinal blockage.
3. Can the candles. Pets can easily get burned, or knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire.
4. Dress-up can be a big mess-up. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams, but make sure the costume is non-restrictive and doesn’t have any dangling pieces they can chew on.). If they get stressed out, bag the costume and opt for a festive bandana or give them a safe, Halloween themed pet toy to play with.
5. All but the most social dogs should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets and cause them to behave atypically. Keep all cats in the home, in a room away from the front door, and never take your pet trick or treating.
6. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you. Your pet can be microchipped by your local Veterinarian. You can also click here (http://www.animalalliancenyc.org/services/microchipping.htm) for more information.
7. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
8. If your pet becomes lost, contact his/her microchip provider immediately and file a report with your local municipal animal shelter. New York City residents should contact Animal Care & Control of New York. Click here for more information.