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October 22, 2013

Safe Halloween for Dogs and Cats! + Ernestine’s Holiday Sentiments

Halloween for Dogs and Cats

It’s Halloween time and as always this time of year, we want to make sure your pet wakes up healthy and happy on November 1st.
Most pet owners are aware of some of the dangers inherent in Halloween, like chocolate candy. But there are other potential hazards you may never have thought of.
For instance, did you know that Halloween costumes can frighten your pet? Or that you should never let a black cat roam the neighborhood this time of year?
Other hazards include certain Halloween decorations, candy and candy wrappers, and even the adorable pet costumes you see in every store.
To make sure your pet stays safe on October 31st, keep these 10 do’s and don’ts in mind. Happy Halloween!

  • If your pet isn’t costume-averse (many dogs and most cats are), just make sure whatever you put on him is:

Lightweight to avoid overheating
Doesn’t confine or restrain his movements in any way
Is free of any adornments he might be tempted to chew off and swallow

  • Some pets don’t mind clothing or other holiday accessories, but many do. If your pet is frightened or annoyed by the puppy princess gown or the Darth Vader dog cape, be a pal and don’t force the issue. Let your pet enjoy the holiday, too.
  • Many dogs and most cats find a constantly ringing doorbell, random shouts of “Trick or Treat!” and people dressed up in weird costumes to be anxiety producing. Even if your pet seems excited by all the noise and activity, excitement is a form of stress, especially for dogs and cats.
  • Know when it’s time to remove your pet from the action and tuck her away in a safe, quiet spot in your home.
  • If your neighborhood tends to be full of trick-or-treaters and fun gatherings on Halloween, it’s a good idea to make sure your pet can’t escape through an open door or window, either to investigate all the commotion, or to escape it.
  • Kitties should probably be closed off in a bedroom or other safe area of the house for the night, and dogs should always be on a leash for trips outside.
  • Dogs are another story. Most pet owners are aware of the dangers of chocolate for dogs. But there are other types of sweets that also pose health risks for canine companions, so a good rule of thumb is to keep ALL Halloween candy and treats like raisins, trail mix and grapes out of the reach of pets.
  • Halloween candy isn’t the only health threat for pets. Believe it or not, ingestion of foil and cellophane wrappers can cause life-threatening bowel obstructions, which often require surgical intervention.
  • Beware all potential Halloween fire hazards. A frightened cat escaping across a table decorated with lit candles, or an excited dog crashing into a carved pumpkin can spell disaster.
  • Glow sticks and jewelry have become very popular, and pets — especially cats — have been known to gnaw on them. The substance that creates the glow is phenol, which can leak out and burn your pet’s fur and tongue. Choking on small pieces is another concern.
  • It’s a good idea to have a quiet, safe spot ready and waiting for an overly excited dog or frightened kitty. Make sure there’s comfy bedding, a litter box if your pet is a cat, a few toys, and some “white noise” in the form of a radio or TV playing in the background.
  • Depending on the situation and your pet, you might want to put her in there at the beginning of the evening, or simply keep the spot handy in case you need it later.

Even with the best intentions and planning, occasionally pets escape into the night on Halloween. So make sure yours is wearing current identification, and if your pet is microchipped, insure your information is current in the chip maker’s database.

From Ernestine:

We are excited that the two dogs we fostered at Belmont Crate Escape, Molly (bloodhound) and Jet (hound mix) were both adopted to forever homes last weekend.  I have been reading lately about new ‘discoveries’ you humans are making about us canines, like that we have emotions. (And you think we are slow to learn sometimes!)  We are way more in tune and perceptive than you imagine. I am glad that Molly and Jet will have homes for the holidays. Like you, most of us love and feel the pressure of the holidays at the same time.  The extra people and food around can be good and hard.

Obviously, we have favorite people in our lives. Y’know who I really like? Ellen DeGeneres. Sometimes I get to listen to TV when my people are out of the house, and every day at the end of her show she says, ‘Be kind to one another’. I know you count us in your blessings.  But busy can mean tense and snippy, and we feel that too.  We definitely feel your pain- more than you know. We also feel your love.

ok, that was a lot of mush for Alpha Ernie!! Going outside to play with my blue ball before the snow!


Later, Ernestine

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