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Fall is here and Halloween tricks and treats are just around the corner. It’s a timeless celebration that gives both kids and adults the excuse to eat lots of sugar and dress up in silly costumes. Those costumes may be fun to us humans, but they can frighten even the most well-behaved pet.  The Houston SPCA encourages pet parents to take the following precautions to make sure their pet stays safe and healthy this Halloween.

  • Identification: Make sure all pets are wearing a collar and identification tag and / or microchipped with current information.  If they escape out an open door and become lost, this info is their ticket home.
  • Leave your pet indoors: Avoid taking your pet trick or treating. Even the most well-tempered dog may panic and become aggressive if a ghost or goblin jumps out of the bushes. Instead, keep your pet in a quiet room, away from the noise, excitement and strangers in costumes.  Keeping your pet safely indoors will also eliminate the possibility of him or her becoming a victim of mistreatment, teasing, chasing or abuse.
  • Candy can kill: Chocolate can be toxic to your pets, especially dogs.  Xylitol, the artificial sweetener found in some candy, can be poisonous to dogs as well.  Loose candy wrappers made of aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockage and vomiting. Ask kids not to share their candy with pets.
  • Decorations: Keep lit pumpkins and candles out of your pet’s reach, as they pose an obvious fire hazard.  Ribbons, streamers, electrical cords, confetti and those cobwebs can all be dangerous if ingested by a curious pet.
  • Pets in Disguise: As cute as it may be to dress up your pet, costumes can restrict an animal’s ability to bark, breathe, move, see or hear. Be especially careful when using costumes which use rubber bands, as they can cut into your pet’s skin and cause injury. Opt for something simple and fun like a Halloween bandana.

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