Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Halloween or All Hallows Eve is here once again and the holiday brings with it the usual throngs of costumed trick-or-treaters, candy, parties and decorations.

It is also a time when pet parents need to be vigilant in order to keep their pets happy and safe. Let's take a look at the holiday and some simple dos and don'ts that will go a long way to make Halloween a fun time for all concerned:

Candy is dandy for the little monsters, hobgoblins, ghosts and assorted superheroes or historical figures coming to your front door but such treats are a potential hazard for your pet. Make sure the candy is secure and out of reach of the dog or cat. Chocolate and sugar fee candy which contains Xylitol are poisonous to pets and plastic wrappers and sticks pose a choking hazard  This rule holds for pumpkins, maize, gourds and any other decorative plants used to dress up the house for the holiday. Make sure you're not using plants that are toxic to pets. While pumpkins, maize and gourds aren't necessarily toxic they might well cause stomach upset if ingested by your furry family member.

Electrical wires and candles are another pet hazard. Make sure wires are inaccessible to pets and replace real candles with battery operated ones to prevent burns and fires.

Some dogs and cats are easily spooked (no joke intended here) by all the activity. If your pet is sensitive keep him or her secured away from the front door or the part of the house used for parties. This will prevent your pet from bolting out the front door, becoming sick from stress or biting someone out of fear or frustration.

If your pet is a showoff and likes to dress up by all means turn him or her into a hot-dog with bun, a wizard, ghost or Dracula but please make sure the costume fits well, isn't confining, can't get caught on anything and doesn't have any parts a pet might decide are worth ingesting.  If your pet isn't happy with dress up don't costume them.

Finally, it is a sad fact of life but some people use the holiday as an excuse to abuse animals. Be vigilant when protecting your pet(s) especially if you have a black cat. Black cats in particular are at risk during this holiday.

Halloween is generally a quiet affair at this house. Not too many trick-or-treaters ring our bell. Artie and I generally have a comfort food dinner then settle in to watch horror movies with some traditional Halloween candy for our dessert. Annie thankfully isn't upset by anyone coming to the house, she just loves to bark when they ring the bell and after her dinner she tries her best to mooch some treats but will have to settle for her dog cookies.

And of course, I will think of Buddy. I always wanted to dress up as a witch and have a picture taken with Buddy as my familiar but unfortunately I never got around to it. Such a photo would certainly have been a nice keepsake of a holiday I always enjoyed growing up.

Enjoy Halloween and keep the holiday season safe for your entire family especially the furry ones.

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