Nine Tips to Keep Pets Safe this Halloween

Halloween can be a stressful time for families with pets. Montgomery County public safety personnel provide the following nine tips to keep pets safe on Oct. 31.

  • Keep pets inside. Pets, especially cats, can be vulnerable targets for pranksters on Halloween night. Keep them safe indoors to avoid possible trouble.
  • More chocolate is sold on Halloween than at any other time of year. Be sure to keep pets away from candy bowls to avoid accidental ingestion of chocolate, which is harmful to dogs and cats. Also beware of candy wrappers, which can be hazardous if swallowed.
  • Beware of jack-o’-lanterns lighted with candles – a wagging tail can easily knock them over and cause a fire hazard. Or a curious kitty can get his paws or nose burned by the flame. Use a safety glow stick or flashlight instead.
  • Keep your pet safe in his own room during trick or treat time. A quick dog or cat can dart out a door that is opening and closing often. Also, the sight of strangely-dressed people at the door can be very stressful for pets.
  • Only dress up your pet if he is receptive to it. Don’t cause undue stress on your furry friend. Use treat training to help your pet get used to his costume, but if he doesn’t seem happy, take it off.
  • Masks are never a good idea for pets. Masks can cut off peripheral vision, making a dog or cat nervous about its surroundings. Even the best behaved dog or cat can get nippy when he can’t see what’s coming from the side.
  • Make sure your pet’s costume fits properly, and does not constrict breathing or movement. Just as with a collar, make sure you can fit two fingers in between the costume and your pet’s neck.
  • Inspect the costume and remove any small or dangling pieces that could become a choking hazard.
  • Don’t forget to ID your pet. Shelters are always busy around holidays with pets that have wandered away from home. An ID tag or microchip helps identify your pet so he can be returned home if he gets lost. A Montgomery County Pet License tag is a great source of identification, more information is available, here.
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