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Don't let Halloween stress out your scaredy cat (or dog!) | Pets

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Don't let Halloween stress out your scaredy cat (or dog!)
Don't let Halloween stress out your scaredy cat (or dog!)

Halloween continues to increase in popularity and an estimated 170 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday this year. As with any busy holiday, pet owners should take special care to ensure that the four-legged family members stay safe. Halloween can pose many dangers for pets so share these safety tips with clients so everyone can enjoy a safe spooktacular celebration.


1. (Fire) safety first. A Jack-O-Lantern with a real candle adds a wonderful, authentic touch to Halloween celebrations, but pets don’t know the danger of the small fire inside. Dogs, particularly enthusiastic tail-waggers, can easily knock over a pumpkin and cause a fire. Place Jack-O-Lanterns where they can’t be knocked over by a swinging tail or a curious cat.


2. Party animal or scaredy cat? Halloween is a great time for a party, but not all pets are party animals. Unless your pets are used to crowds, keep them in a separate room where they won’t be disturbed and check on them frequently. Pet costumes are more popular than ever, but if your dog or cat is not receptive to this kind of thing, you could be causing discomfort and stress. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume doesn’t obstruct your pet’s movement or vision and isn't uncomfortable or unsafe.


3. Tricky Treats. Most pet owners know that chocolate is poisonous to pets, but children or non-pet owners may not. Have some pet-friendly treats handy, but keep candy and candy wrappers out of paw’s reach. Alcohol and rich fatty foods are also “no, no’s” for pets.


4. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween. We’ve all heard the real-life horror stories of malicious people who steal, tease, injure, torture and even kill pets on Halloween. If you don't already bring your pets inside at dark, do so on this night.


5. Prevent the escape of indoor pets. Be careful that cats or dogs don't dart outside through an open door. Even if a pet enjoys visitors and is having a great time greeting guests and little hobgoblins, a leash is a good idea. Once a pet is out the door, its familiar neighborhood can become unfamiliar and scary territory on Halloween. House and yard decorations, Trick-or-Treaters and increased traffic can panic an escaped pet. A panicked pet will often run too far from home to find its way back.


Best wishes for a safe and happy Halloween!


Laura Stauffiger is the proprietor of Laura’s Critter Care, LLC, an in your home pet sitting, dog walking and house sitting service that services Erie and Niagara Counties, and is also a member of Pet Sitters International .  For more information visit her website or send an Email.



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