Keep pets safe during Halloween
Trick or treat! It’s Halloween, but the very things that endear people to this yearly ritual can often be scary for pets.
This Halloween, the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care at the Houston Department of Health and Human Services offers the following tips to ensure the pet safety pet:
- Keep pets indoors to eliminate their risk of becoming the target of pranks.
- Don’t give any candy to pets. Make sure that all Halloween treats are stored where pets cannot get to them.
- If you have a protective dog that might feel threatened by strangers, keep it away from the door when trick-or-treaters arrive. Make sure that a pet doesn’t dart outside when opening a door.
- Keep pets away from live flame decorations like candles and jack-o-lanterns that can tip over and start a fire.
- Restrict a pet’s access to hanging decorations such as streamers. Pets are curious and can become tangled or even choke if they chew on the decorations.
- Don’t let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Children may have a difficult time handling a pet while dressed up and dogs can be easily frightened by people in strange costumes.
- When dressing up a pet in a costume, put it on for just a short period of time—enough to snap a photo—and then remove it. Costumes are generally constraining and pets can choke or injure themselves trying to escape from the unfamiliar and unnatural accessories.
- Take extra precautions with black or white cats, occasionally the targets of Halloween pranks. Keep them confined in a room, away from the front door.
- Make sure pets wear a collar and identification tags so that if they do get out and get lost, you can be contacted. Even better, have your pets implanted with a microchip to ensure their safe return should they end up at a shelter or veterinarian’s office.
Oct. 25, 2007 www.houstonhealth.org Contact: Kathy Barton 713-794-9998