Halloween Safety Tips for Pets
Halloween can be a fun-filled time for children and adults, too. But it can be a scary time for our pets. The Etobicoke Humane Society asks you to remember these pet safety tips when the hobgoblins gather this year:
1. No tricks and no treats for pets: Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Tin foil and cellophane wrappers can be dangerous or deadly if swallowed. If you think your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency vet clinic. Keep related phone numbers handy for fast reference.
2. Some Hazards in Plants: Halloween traditions such as pumpkins and decorative corn are generally non-toxic, but they can cause gastrointestinal upset if pets ingest them. Larger ingested pieces can even cause intestinal blockage.
3. Electrical Hazards: Don’t let pets chew wires and cords. Keep them safely out of reach of your pets. If you pet chews electrical cords or wires, he could experience damage to his mouth due to shards of glass or plastic, or even experience a life-threatening electrical shock.
4. Candle Cautions: Use extreme caution with candles, even when placed inside pumpkins. Pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and cause a fire. Kittens and puppies are at even greater risk of getting burned or singed by lit candles.
5. Don’t mess-up with dress-up: Please don't use costumes on your dog or cat unless you’re absolutely sure they REALLY enjoy it. Costumes can cause stress for many animals, and many costumes are flammable, which adds additional hazards. Masks are best left for people.
6. Safe costumes only: If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume is NOT FLAMMABLE, and isn’t too tight or too loose (extra material can get your pet caught in something). . A costume or mask should not hinder your pet’s movement, hearing, vision or ability to breathe. Watch out for easily chewed pieces of costume that could cause choking. This protects your pet from injury and helps prevent irrtiabitiy; an irritable pet can be a snappy pet. Masks are best left off your pet.
7. Provide a quiet haven: Most dogs and cats should be kept in a separate, quiet room during the busiest trick –or-treat hours. All the noise and dangers can be very stressful for pets. Only the most social pets should be exposed to the Halloween hauntings.
8. Watch those doors: When opening your door for trick-or-treaters, make sure your pet doesn’t run outside. Besides the risk of being lost, there are many accounts of Halloween hooligans who have teased, chased, injured, stolen and even killed pets.
9. IDs:.* Be certain that your pet has current, proper identification; i.e., microchip and/or collar and tag, just in case your pet escapes during the Halloween festivities.
The Etobicoke Humane Society is an all-volunteer, registered charity, serving the Etobicoke community since 1987. The Society operates a variety of pet-related services, including cat and dog fostering and adoption and cruelty investigation. It also provides free humane education workshops for youth and adults. If you are interested in volunteering for or otherwise supporting the Etobicoke Humane Society, have pet-related needs, or are interested in a humane education workshop for your group, please contact the Etobicoke Humane Society at 416-249-6100, or visit www.etobicokehumanesociety.com