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Paws and Claws - Keeping Your Pet Safe this Halloween

Halloween is a spooktacular time for humans, but it can be a bit scary for our furry friends. Here's how to ensure your pets have a safe Halloween.

Costume Cautions: While dressing up your pet can be adorable, not all pets enjoy or will tolerate it. If your pet is comfortable in a costume, ensure it doesn't obstruct their movement, vision, or breathing. If your pet shows no interest in wearing a costume, it's best to refrain from putting one on them. Pets can become entangled or injured when attempting to free themselves from costumes they dislike.

Candy Caution: Keep Halloween candy away from pets. Chocolate, xylitol, and certain other ingredients can be toxic. Store all candy out of reach and remind children that their Halloween candy, which they don't want to share anyway, isn't for pets. *Ingesting candy wrappers can pose a danger to pets and can cause a life-threatening obstruction which requires immediate surgery.

Quiet Haven: The doorbell ringing and trick-or-treaters can stress your pet. Consider creating a quiet, secure place for them with their favorite toys, blanket, and tv or soothing music in the background. For pets that are prescribed medication for events that may cause anxiety, it's advisable to administer it at least one hour before Halloween activities, unless Dr. Thomas has provided different instructions.

Glow Stick and Jewelry Safety: If you are using glow sticks or jewelry, make sure they are out of your pet's reach. The liquid inside can be harmful if ingested. When wearing Halloween jewelry, exercise caution around pets to ensure their safety. Pets may be curious and could potentially chew or swallow small Halloween jewelry pieces, which can pose a choking hazard or lead to other health issues.

Decor Dangers: Be mindful of decorations like candles and fake cobwebs. Pets can knock them over, potentially causing fires or injury.

Pet ID: Ensure your pet has proper identification, such as a collar with an updated tag. Is their microchip information up to date? If not, it's time to go online to the microchip registry provider and update your address or phone number. The noise and commotion might cause them to dart out the door. Proper ID increases the chances of bring reunited with your pet.

Halloween can be a frightening and dangerous time for your pet. It ranks as the second most common holiday during which pets tend to go missing, following closely behind July 4th.

Costumed Visitors: Your pet's don't know that your costumed visitors are a family member or invited guests. A startled, scared, confused pet, or one who simply wants to protect their family can hurt someone. Always supervise your pets with the Halloweener no matter who they are.

Pet-Friendly Treats: Consider giving your pet some pet-safe treats or toys to distract them from the festivities.

Leash Up: Even if your pet seems unbothered by trick-or-treaters, keep them on a leash and ensure their collar is secure if walking through the neighborhood. Using a reflective vest for your pet while walking on Halloween is also a smart safety choice. Remember, even the friendliest dog can become excited or fearful and may pull off leash or pose a level of bite risk. Consider the pros and cons fully before taking your furry friend trick-or-treating. Cats should never be included in trick-or-treating outings and should remain indoors for their safety.

Emergency Plan: Emergencies happen despite precautions. Know where the nearest emergency vet clinic is, just in case.

Last but not Least, Black Cat Safety: Black cats can be vulnerable targets of abuse during Halloween due to superstitions, urban legends, and sadly, "just because". To keep them safe, it's crucial to keep them indoors and away from potential harm. Additionally, consider spreading awareness with your friends and on social media about the importance of treating black cats with care and respect, regardless of the time of year.

All Hallows' Eve can be both fun and safe for your furry friends with a little extra care and consideration. Wishing you and your four-legged family members a spooktacular and hazard-free Halloween!

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