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Have a safe – and spooky – Howl-o-ween

Halloween can be a dream for children (and, let’s face it, some adults) with costumes, candy and the excitement that surrounds the experience. But for pets, the holiday can be a nightmare. The not-so-scary news is that there are ways to minimize stress and anxiety and keep your pets safe.

When pumpkins glow
If you use a candle or a battery-operated light to make your pumpkin glow, place it out of your pet’s reach. The same is true for decorations. Pets are curious, and cords and sparkly things may prompt a bit of investigation. Chasing a panicked pet tangled in cords is not as fun as sifting through your child’s candy for the elusive full-sized candy bar. Plus, your pet’s teeth are sharp enough to gnaw through the cords, which could cause an electrical shock or a burn.

Beware of candy
Chocolate and the artificial sweetener xylitol—commonly used in gum and sugar-free treats—can be deadly for pets, and even small nibbles can be dangerous. Nuts are tricky. Some, like peanuts and almonds, are not toxic, but others, like macadamia nuts, are. Even the “OK nuts” have a high fat content that’s difficult to digest and could cause issues. If you think your pet snuck into the candy bowl, call your veterinarian if you see any signs of distress.

Keep things that go eek, bark or meow in the night indoors
With so much activity going on, it’s easy for your four-legged goblins to escape. There are so many sights and sounds, and your furry companion may get spooked. Put your pet in a secure room away from the activity.

Not all who wander are lost, but …
If your pet manages to dart off faster than you can say “trick or treat,” you have the best chance of being reunited if they have identification. Make sure your pet wears a collar with up to date tags (or a personalized collar with that information) and their microchip is registered with current information.

Frightfully cute
You may have been thinking about the purrfect … err, perfect … costume for your pet for months, but before you craft something either spooktacular or spectacular, keep a few things in mind. Make sure costumes aren’t annoying or dangerous and that your pet can move freely, see, hear and breathe. Remember to supervise your pet at all times so that if something does go amiss, you can jump in to help.

From all of us at the Dumb Friends League, have a safe and fun Halloween. Remember, if you’re looking for a cat, dog, small pet or a horse, visit one of our shelters. The best treat is giving an animal a home!

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