October 24, 2012

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter has put out information on keeping pets safe during Halloween. Here is their release:

Halloween is a fun time for kids and many adults, but can be a frightening and stressful time for pets. Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter wants to remind pet owners about safety during the upcoming Halloween holiday.  Pets can get very startled by costumes and other unusual activities surrounding the Halloween celebrations. Constant door knocking, bell ringing, and unusual appearing guests can stress pets or spook them. This can contribute to escape or aggression.
Learn what to be aware of to protect your pet and stay safe this year! 

Halloween Pet Safety Tips:
  • Keep animals confined indoors on Halloween. Seclude them safely in a room away from the door and distractions.
  • Walk pets before dark to avoid any altercations with costumed characters.
  • House animals indoors just before and during Halloween. This protects pets from pranksters who tease, injure, steal, or harm animals.
  • Make sure pets are wearing collars with current identification. Many pets get spooked and escape. Unfortunately they end up in shelters without identification.
  • Keep pets away from costumed ghouls and goblins. Halloween bites are not uncommon. Even friendly animals may bite due to stress, fear, or protective aggression.
  • Store and dispense candy so that it is not accessible to pets. Many treats are toxic and even lethal to pets. Especially poisonous are "sugar free" sweetener xylitol and chocolate. 
  • Don't dress up pets unless they love it. If you do dress them up make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. Avoid restriction of movement, vision, hearing or the ability to breathe or vocalize. Costumes should not contain small dangling accessories that could be consumed or cause choking.
  • Restrict your pet's access to decorations. Jack o' lanterns with candles are obvious fire hazards, but cats can also get tangled in streamers. Pets can also become ill from eating holiday decor.

For more information, please call 831-454-7200 or visit our website www.scanimalshelter.org.