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Halloween Not Always a Howling Good Time for Furry Friends

Pet costumes should be comfortable and not restrict the animal's natural movement. (Brett Neilson/Flickr)
Pet costumes should be comfortable and not restrict the animal's natural movement. (Brett Neilson/Flickr)
October 31, 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The candy, costumes and spooky fun of Halloween that little ones love can actually be quite a fright for our furry friends.

Andrea Blair, PR and marketing director for the Kentucky Humane Society, explains one of the biggest concerns is a dog or cat slipping out the door, so she recommends keeping pets in a quiet room where they will be safe and happy. And taking a pet along trick-or-treating is not always the best idea. Blair explains costumes and masks can be frightening and intimidating, especially for dogs.

"First of all make sure that your dog is very, very comfortable in that type of situation," she warns. "But, I would really recommend that instead give your dog a really great treat and keep them home where they're going to be safest and won't get into trouble and they also won't run away."

Owners should also make sure their cats and dogs have their tags on so they can be identified in the case of an escape. And Blair reminds parents to teach their children to never approach someone else's pet without asking first.

Many pet owners enjoy dressing up their dogs and cats in costumes, which Blair says is fine as long as the animal is comfortable and their natural movement is not restricted.

"Introduce them to the costume, let them smell it, then give them treats and praise them as you put the costume on," she says. "And once the costume's on of course make a big deal about your dog or cat. Some animals will love that attention and will therefore, love the costume."

Keeping candy out of a pet's reach is also very important, she adds, as chocolate, gum and artificial sweeteners can make animals sick. If it is suspected that a cat or dog has eaten something potentially dangerous, one should call a veterinarian or the Poison Control Center.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY