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Pet Tips: Halloween Safety
Keeping Your Pets Safe on this Spooky Holiday
This Halloween pet owners should ensure that their four-legged family members are kept inside, safe and happy. The following are several safety tips that the veterinary team at Angell Animal Medical Center encourage all pet owners to follow during the Halloween season:
People in costume can be frightening for pets. Angell recommends costumes be laid out well in advance so that dogs and cats have an opportunity to smell and otherwise familiarize themselves with the garments. Allow pets access to their favorite indoor hiding areas should a family member—so recognizable out of costume—appear foreign and frightening to pets once dressed in their Halloween garb.
It’s very easy for your cat or dog to run out the door when you open it to greet trick-or-treaters. Because doors are constantly opening and closing during prime trick-or-treating hours it’s important to ensure pets cannot escape. Angell recommends using baby gates or, even better, sequestering pets in a safe and comfortable area of the home from which they cannot escape. The activity and excitement of Halloween can be stressful and confusing for animals, which may cause loose pets to run away. Keep dogs on a leash when bringing them outside.
Be careful when selecting pet costumes. If pet owners want to dress their animals for the holiday, Angell urges caution; costumes should never constrict breathing or vision. Moreover, be sure costumes will not inhibit pets’ range of motion or become tangled in furniture or other objects.
Do not neglect farm animals who may live outside. If you have rabbits in an outside hutch or have chickens, geese, or any farm animals, leave an outdoor light on illuminating their area. Check on them throughout the Halloween night.
Keep in mind that neighborhoods celebrate Halloween at different times, so you may want to find out the Halloween trick-or-treat date for your neighborhood.
Refrain from giving pets candy treats. Chocolate and other sweets can be harmful to a pet’s sensitive stomach. Specially-made nutritious pet treats are better to give to your cat or dog. If pets do consume candy, or exhibit other signs of illness, the medical center advises pet owners to immediately call their veterinarian or Angell Animal Medical Center.
In case of an emergency, Angell Animal Medical Center’s Emergency/Critical Care service can be reached 24 hours a day at 617-522-7282 or pet owners can find more information about staff and services at www.mspca.org/emergency.