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Pets and Halloween: Avoiding Spooky Dangers

Staying inside away from the commotion of trick-or-treating is sometimes the best option for dogs on Halloween. (DaPuglett/Flickr)
Staying inside away from the commotion of trick-or-treating is sometimes the best option for dogs on Halloween. (DaPuglett/Flickr)
October 31, 2017

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

Pam Wiese, vice president for public relations and marketing with the Nebraska Humane Society, says 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. She says taking a pet along when trick-or-treating is not always the best idea.

"People that are dressed in big masks and scary flashing lights and lots of crowds can really freak a dog out - can put him on edge, make him very, very nervous," she explains. "So the first thing that you want to do is make sure your dog is comfortable in those types of situations."

Wiese suggests using a short leash and a reflective collar if your pet does join you. Owners should also make sure their cats and dogs are wearing their tags so they can be identified in case of an escape. Wiese also reminds parents to teach their children to never approach someone else's pet without asking first.

If dressing up your pet, Wiese says to make sure the pet is comfortable and the costume fits properly.

"It shouldn't impede his vision or his movement," she adds. "That can really panic a dog and it can also cause injury if he then runs away and then it gets wrapped around him in some way and causes choking or creates a problem where he stumbles and hurts himself."

She also adds that it's also a good idea to bring pets inside before it gets dark out, especially our feline friends.

"Cats should be kept indoors this time of year just to make sure that no pranksters get ahold of them and do anything nefarious," warns Wiese. "Also a good idea to put an ID on them."

Keeping candy out of a pet's reach is also very important, she notes, 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 - NE