The following is a list of precautions suggested and recommended by numerous animal shelters and veterinarians designed to keep pets safe on Halloween.
NOISES and STRANGE STRANGERS:
Trick or treaters can cause loud and excessive noise and frighten your pet, so try to keep your pets inside in a quiet room where they are insulated from the Halloween rukus. : )
Pets, especially dogs, that are easily excitable or threatened by strangers should be kept from the front door so they cannot bite anyone or run into the street. With many people visiting the home in strange attire, even normally calm pets might overreact.
Keep pets on a shorter-than-normal leash if you plan on walking outside on Halloween. Again, scary and weird looking trick-or-treaters could provoke aggression in even the nicest pet.
KISS OF DEATH
Candy, especially chocolate, is toxic for animals and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances, and even death. Ask kids not to share candy with pets.
Be careful with lit pumpkins and candles because pets can knock them over and start a fire. Therefore ensure that all burning objects are out of pet’s reach. Remember that cats can jump high, and birds can fly, so try to confine a pet if it demonstrates an “unhealthy” interest in flames (e.g. it puts its paws in lit pumpkins or tries to play with candles).
PETS IN DISGUISE
Avoid costumes held in place by rubber bands, which can be uncomfortable and, more important, rubber bands mistakenly left on a pet can quickly burrow into the animal’s skin and cause injury. Additionally, rubber bands in the wrong place can choke a bird.
If a pet wears a costume, make sure it is not constricting, causing your pet to trip, or blocking its vision. Do not force a pet to wear a costume if it demonstrates discomfort. All of the above can cause undue stress and possibly cause aggression in even the nicest dog, goldfish, or iguana.
EVIL IN THE NIGHT
Don’t leave pets outside on Halloween. Many animals disappear as pranksters and those with darker intentions tease, abduct, torture, or even kill pets.
Be especially watchful of black cats, who which are frequent targets of cruel activities on Halloween. Try to keep black cats inside for the week of Halloween. Many animal shelters make black cats unavailable for adoption the week before Halloween because of black cat abuse.
By Hilary Stamper, Environmental Activism Manager, Care2.com