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No Tricks or Treats for Pets this Halloween

PHOTO: The Arizona Humane Society's Bretta Nelson recommends keeping pets in a secure room on Halloween, away from trick or treaters. CREDIT: Nelson
PHOTO: The Arizona Humane Society's Bretta Nelson recommends keeping pets in a secure room on Halloween, away from trick or treaters. CREDIT: Nelson
October 30, 2013

PHOENIX - It's one of the most fun-filled nights for kids of all ages, but unless pet owners take precautions, Halloween could pose serious risks for four-legged friends.

Halloween safety begins with finding a place for your pets where they won't be frightened or agitated when the doorbell rings, said Bretta Nelson, public relations manager for the Arizona Humane Society.

"Try to find a secure room for them," she said. "Bring in their food, their water, their toys, their bedding, just so that they can feel really safe and secure. You can also turn on the radio or the TV, just to give them some extra sights and sounds."

Nelson said it's also important to make sure your pets have current ID, either a microchip or a collar and tag, just in case they manage to slip out the constantly opening and closing front door.

When trick-or-treaters bring home the Halloween loot, Nelson said, it's vital to keep the candy away from pets.

"Candy is something that can really be a choking hazard to our pets," she said, "and then of course, you have chocolate - that's very, very fatal to pets. So, keep candy away from the pet."

Nelson also advised caution around open flames inside jack-o-lanterns and other smaller decorations that a pet might swallow.

Dressing up pets in costumes is OK for a quick photo, she said, but any longer can risk suffocation or strangulation if the pet gets tangled. She advised against taking the dog along for trick-or-treating.

"Children are going to have a really difficult time handling a dog if they're in costume," she said. "And again, your pet may be frightened by the other costumes, and it's just a bigger chance of them getting away, running into traffic."

If your pet does become lost, Nelson suggests contacting the Humane Society or Maricopa County Animal Control.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ