Tagged: “costumed pets”

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips

It’s official, my dogs are more popular than me. They got invited to a Halloween Party and I haven’t been (well, technically, I guess I was invited, too, because they do need a ride to the event but no invitations to a just people party).

Dog costume parties seem to be getting more and more popular. People, it seems, will take any excuse to make their little furry darling even cuter than she/he already is. And dressing your dog as a fairy or witch can be pretty darn cute (or funny).

Just don’t expect your pet to enjoy being turned into a dragon or cowboy unless you already have him used to wearing clothes. Many animals panic when they have something wrapped around them – it feels like they are trapped. And you might think it’s hysterical when your cat is running through the house chased by a dragging cape but believe me, she’s not having any fun.

Get your pet used to wearing a costume a little at a time and have plenty of treats handy to use as rewards. Which means if you’re just starting today, you may be lucky enough to get just one photo snapped before she wiggles out of the outfit. Next year start earlier.

Besides costumes, Halloween has other tricks in store for unsuspecting pets – and pet owners. Be sure all your furry family members are safely inside before the witches and goblins (and superheroes and princesses, etc.) hit the street trick or treating. It’s amazing how reactive even the best dog can be when confronted by a zombie and you don’t want to risk someone being hurt or your pet being scared away.

For that same reason it’s a good idea to lock your pets in a bedroom while the door is being opened frequently. Better to not set off your dog’s guard instincts if he thinks the goblins are too threatening! And you certainly don’t want your cat slipping out the door between the ballerinas and action heroes (of course all your pets are microchipped and wearing ID tags, just in case, right? We do it for free so bring them in this week if they’re not). Don’t trust that your dog will recognize the werewolf as the child next door – he might not. Children don’t always realize how scary even a pretty costume (with capes, twirly skirts, swords and hats) can be to an animal not accustomed to seeing people dressed that way. And masks that prevent good eye contact are especially frightening to dogs. Protect everyone by keeping them separated and not taking chances.

Remember, too, that chocolate has an ingredient that is poisonous for our pets in addition to the sugar and caffeine that’s in other candies. Make sure your stash of goodies – both the bowl that is by your front door to hand out to trick or treaters, and the bags that your children bring home after going door to door – are safely out of reach of furry mouths. Even if your pet doesn’t eat enough to be life threatening, it’s never fun dealing with the vomiting and diarrhea that ingesting candy causes. Just a little precaution and planning can help make this a safe holiday for everyone – full of treats and fun.