Halloween is right around the corner. As we decorate, plan parties, pick out costumes and get ready for trick-or-treaters, let’s not forget about our furry friends. A lot of commotion surrounds Halloween and we want to make sure we are keeping our companions safe.  

1. If you decide to dress up your pet for the occasion, make sure he is actually comfortable in his costume. Some animals experience quite a bit of stress when forced to wear clothing. It’s important that the costume doesn’t restrict your pet’s natural movements or ability to hear or breath. Make sure there aren’t any chewing/choking hazards on the costume.

2. If you are passing out candy to trick-or-treaters make sure to either keep your pet in another room or just keep a watchful eye on them. If they are easily excited by knocks on the door and the doorbell ringing, it might be best to keep them in another room so they don’t get too stressed with all the commotion. But even if you’re pet can handle the excitement, be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t dart outside.

3. Make sure your pet’s identification is up to date. Place an identification tag on their collar or have your pet micro chipped. These are important steps that can help your pet find their way home if they get lost in all the commotion. (This is a good idea year-round.)

4. Do your best to keep your pet indoors, especially cats. Unfortunately, animal cruelty is a reality. There are some not so nice people who take Halloween too far and go looking for animals to harm (especially black cats). Protect your furry friends by keeping them indoors.

5. When decorating the house, be mindful of your decorations and your mischievous pets. Beware of candles and lit jack-o-lanterns. Wagging tails and animals running through the house can cause mayhem and injuries.

And remember, no matter how sweetly they look at you with their puppy dog and kitty cat eyes… don’t share your candy! Many human treats, including chocolate, are toxic to our pets. Also, be sure not to leave out any loose candy wrappers so your pet doesn’t eat them. Follow these basic tips and Halloween will be an enjoyable time for you and your pets!   — Lydia Gutierrez