Weekly Wag: Howl-O-Ween Tricks and Tips

Trick or Treat Animal Lovers! Lets keep our pets and kids safe this Howl-o-ween. Here are some tips from the ASPCA for a safe and fun time for everyone. I added my own notes at the bottom, I find that some of these ‘safety tip lists’ tend to get a little over dramatic. Also added some fun links at the bottom for homemade pet costumes.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. ($65 credit card charge)

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. 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!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

10. 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 be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you

Note: If your pet grabs a snack size snicker bar do not panic, a small amount will most likely not affect your pooch, but watch him closely. When adorning Fido in your favorite costume, make sure he can go potty and move about freely. Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A) for your dog. I would feed in moderation and watch the seeds.

Please watch your pet when the little tricksters come to your door. (have your pet tagged and/or micro-chipped) You don’t want Fido running out the door or scaring the little goblins or vice versa. Ipecac is used for K9 nausea or vomiting. Chamomile taken internally has a calming effect and aids digestion for our canine companions. Rescue Remedy is used for stress and contains 5 Bach Flower Essences for people and pets.

Free Pumpkin-Carving Stencils of Favorite Dog Breeds

Homemade K9 Costume Ideas from Disney Family.com

Top 5 Pet Costume Ideas from Animal Planet.


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