Halloween is right around the corner. The celebrations can be great fun for adults and kids. Pets, however, may find strangers coming to the door dressed as ghosts and goblins a little too scary. Here are some tips from the American Humane Association and Monterey County Animal Services to help you and your pets have a fun and safe Halloween.
As always, safety first — Put your pets in a quiet room away from the commotion to reduce their stress and chance of escape. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID and dog license on your pooch in case it does escape with the trick-or-treaters. Microchipping your pet is recommended as an added precaution, since a lost pet with a microchip has a greater chance of being reunited with its owner. Also, it’s best to keep cats indoors and away from people who may be out to play a mean Halloween prank.
By all means, let your pets celebrate Halloween, too — Keep a supply of pet treats handy, and reach for one before you open the door for trick-or-treaters. If your pet sits calmly while the door is open, give her a treat! Try a Halloween-themed collar or bandana to show your pet’s spirit, instead of a costume that may be constricting or unsafe.
Pet-friendly Halloween decorations — Instead of an open flame in the jack-o’-lantern; opt for battery-powered, kid- and pet-friendly pumpkins. Open-flame candles and pumpkins with lit candles are especially dangerous because a pet’s fur can catch fire. Don’t let your pet chew or eat things like crepe-paper streamers; these are often colored with water-soluble dyes that will discolor your pet’s mouth and can cause an upset stomach.
Remember: No chocolate and candy! — Dogs love chocolate as much as humans do, but it very dangerous for dogs and cats if ingested. Keep all chocolate and candy out of reach of your pets. Have healthy pet treats on hand for your pets, and enjoy the candy and chocolate yourself.
If your pet becomes lost, visit your local animal shelter daily to search for your pet. If you need directions to your appropriate animal shelter, call Monterey County Animal Services, 769-8850, ext. 3. Create flyers and post throughout your neighborhood and with local veterinary offices.
Be proactive in searching for your pet. It may not be able to find its way home on its own.
—Monterey County Animal Services