Halloween advice for pets has become nearly as prevalent as candy and costumes, but it never hurts to remind guardians that the spooky event can be dangerous for animals.
This year, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.ASPCA.org) has five timely tips to keep pets safe.
“Halloween can be filled with more tricks than treats for our pets,” says Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “Including your pet in the family’s festivities on fright night might sound fun, but pet owners should know that many holiday traditions are not safe for the four-legged members of our household.”
Wismer recommends these steps:
•During trick-or-treating hours, it is best to keep pets in a room away from all the excitement at the front door. A constantly ringing doorbell and a flurry of strangers in unfamiliar costumes can be frightening for pets. Be sure that your pet is always wearing a collar with ID tags and is microchipped should the animal get loose.
•If you dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit their movement, hearing, sight or ability to breathe, bark, eat, drink or go to the bathroom. Also check the costume for choking hazards.
•Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets, especially candies containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol, which can be poisonous to dogs. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can also be potentially poisonous to animals.
•Re-think putting burning candles in Jack-o’-lanterns. Pets can easily knock these over and start a fire, and curious kittens are particularly at risk of getting burned by candle flames. Also take care to prevent your pets from having access to wires and cords from holiday decorations.
•Cats love to play with candy wrappers, but ingesting aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockage and vomiting.
The Dumb Friends League is celebrating Halloween all week with a “Trick or Treat Adopt-a-thon.” Starting today (Monday) through Sunday, Nov. 2, the league (www.ddfl.org) is offering 50 percent off the adoption fee for adult dogs (1 year and older), waived fees for adult cats (1 year and older), sales on select merchandise in shelter stores and lots of treats for both humans and pets.
Morris Animal Foundation (www.Morrisanimalfoundation.org) will present a webinar on osteoarthritis, a common problem affecting many animals as they age. Dr. Kelly Diehl will discuss how to recognize the signs of osteoarthritis in dogs and cats and tell you about the possible causes. You’ll also learn about the treatment options currently available to alleviate pain and improve mobility. The webinar will be presented on Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 11 to 11:45 a.m.
Colorado Voters for Animals (www.covotersforanimals.org) is urging a vote in favor of Proposition 105, the Colorado Mandatory Labeling of GMOs, which appears on the statewide ballots due Nov. 4. The organization says it is concerned about the effects that pesticides used on genetically modified crops have on wildlife, including populations of honey bees, bats, birds, beneficial insects and monarch butterflies.
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