Halloween is almost here, and now is the time to review safety tips for your pets (and for the trick-or-treaters who come to visit). It is a good idea to go through these with your whole family.
- No candy treats for your pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you think your pet has eaten something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
- Keep an eye out for the wrappers, too! If your pet eats these, they may get caught in the digestive tract and cause all kinds of issues needing a trip to the Vet. Even in the best cases, the journey back out of your pet may cause diarrhea or some bleeding.
- While pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.
- Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock. (Keep this in mind with the other holidays as well).
- If you choose to add a lit candle to your jack-o-lantern, watch out for curious pets who could knock the candle over, or if in costume – could catch on fire. Pet costumes do not have the same fire retardant requirements that children’s costumes do. And pets will not “drop and roll” if they catch on fire.
- Speaking of costumes for pets, please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it. For pets who prefer being au naturel, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. If your dog is well-behaved, you may only notice him/her licking their nose (it is a sign of nervousness). Cats will definitely let you know if they are not pleased being in the costume.
- If you do dress up your pet, make sure it doesn’t constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, don’t force him/her to wear it.
- Review your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he/she could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
- All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Especially with all the unpredictable movement of children, and the loud voices, all the strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
- Please don’t include your costumed pets as part of the holiday decor!
- When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, be careful that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside. Loose animals are in danger for many reasons – traffic, and the temptation for wayward children to attempt mischief.
- Up to date indentification, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver.
- Remind your children who may be trick-or-treating not to approach stray animals, but to note their description, where they saw the animal(s) and if the animals are hurt. They should report a loose animal to an adult (or if they have a cell phone they can call you) – in order to alert animal control and your neighborhood watch.
Here are the phone numbers for your convenience:
- Bakersfield Animal Control (661) 326-3436
- Kern County Animal Control (661) 321-3000
- If you see an animal being hurt, please call the Bakersfield police using 911.
Stay safe and keep your furry family members safe this Halloween.
Comments? Questions? Story information, product to review or breaking news? Please contact Natalia Corres at Natalia@bakwep.com.
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