Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Here are some Halloween Pet Safety Tips from Sonia Moore, Willowbridge Lost & Found Pet Coordinator and Independent Rescuer.

Pets should be left indoors. Pet owners hould not take their pets trick-or-treating to avoid having them be scared by people.  Pet owners should plan to walk with pets early before the ‘little goblins and ghouls’ take to the streets.

Halloween can be a stressful time for pets. The noise and commotion of children on the trick-or-treat trail, strange costumes, and a disruption in their daily schedules means pet owners need to take special care with their animals when preparing for Halloween festivities.

Residents who plan to hand out candy on Halloween night need to be sure their dogs or cats are secured (whether in a crate or another room). Many pets can escape through frequently opened doors.

Pet owners should make sure that all their pets are wearing a collar and identification tag and/or microchipped with current information.  Although a lot of people leave collars and tags off their pets from time to time, during Halloween it is imperative that their identification be on them at all times. Constant doorbell rings, frequent visitors, and disruption in their normal routine can spook even the most well-adjusted pets. If a pet does dart out, their identification tags become very important for your pet’s safe return.

Candy can kill. Chocolate can be toxic to your pets, especially dogs. Xylitol, the artificial sweetener found in some candy, can be poisonous to dogs as well. Loose candy wrappers made of aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockage and vomiting. Ask kids not to share their candy with pets.

Jack O’Lanterns can be fun and festive, but watch those candles. A darting cat or dog can accidentally knock them over and create a fire hazard. Consider investing in flameless battery-operated tealight candles this year.

Pets in Disguise. As cute as it may be to dress up your pet, costumes can restrict an animal’s ability to bark, breathe, move, see or hear. Be especially careful when using costumes which use rubber bands, as they can cut into your pet’s skin and cause injury.  Also, be aware of anything that dangles and could present a choking hazard to your pet. Opt for something simple and fun like a Halloween bandana. If you are a witness to animal cruelty, please contact one of the following immediately:

Houston Humane Society:
R.A.I.D.E.R. – 713-433-6421, ext. 396 or report cruelty
http://www.houstonhumane.org/report-cruelty
Houston SPCA at 713-869-7722 or 713-869-7722, ext. 138 or
http://www.houstonspca.org/site/PageNavigator/cruelty_and_rescue_animal_cruelty_laws