New Mexico's Pet Resource FALL 2004



Halloween is fun for trick-or-treaters dressed in spooky costumes but not for your pets. Ringing doorbells, strange people, and scary noises can easily frighten or agitate pets. Do them -- and yourself -- a favor. Put your pets in a separate room with food, water, toys, and a litter box for your cats, so they can relax and have a good evening, too.

These are some things you can do to make Halloween easier for your pets:

Keep pets inside. Make sure your dog and cat have collars and current ID tags just in case they manage to slip out the door during the festivities.

Keep lit pumpkins away from your pets. A dogís tail or a catís paw can knock them over causing the animal to be burned.

Keep your pets away from the decorations. Animals can get caught or tangled in hanging decorations.

Donít leave dogs in the back yard on Halloween. Sometimes pranksters play tricks by teasing, stealing or injur- ing an animal.

Cats are particularly vulnerable to malicious pranks. PETroglyphs recommends that cats be kept indoors. That is particularly true a few days before or after Halloween. Cats are often at risk from children playing vicious tricks. There are incidents reported of black cats being harmed or killed at Halloween. For this reason many animal shelters will not allow black cats to be adopted during Halloween week.

Halloween candy may be delicious but please remember not to give it to your pet. Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs and the candy wrappers Ė especially cellophane ones Ė can be dangerous if swallowed.

Please think twice before dressing up your dog or cat in a Halloween costume. Most pets dislike costumes or masks. If you insist on dressing up your pet, make sure the costume fits the animal without restricting movement or breath ing, and that it doesnít obscure the animalís vision.

Based on information from the ASPCA, HSUS and the Albuquerque Cat Action Team.

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