2007-10-19 / Community

Tips On Keeping Your Pets Safe At Halloween

A pack of ghosts and goblins at your door can scare your pets, but

ghouls are not the only thing to beware of on Halloween. Kellyann

Conway, director of animal training and behavior at Animal Planet's

Petvideo.com and a certified, award-winning trainer, offers these tips to make sure everyone has a howlin' good time this Halloween.

First, beware of unsafe holiday decorations. Wires and electrical

cords are an invitation to your teething pets or those who just like to chew on whatever is available. Use a cord container to prevent wires from being chewed or gnawed. Also, avoid dangling decorations that may entangle your pets.

Carving a pumpkin is fun - but placing a candle inside of it may be hazardous to your pet. Candles are easily knocked over and can burn

wagging tails, paws and noses. So forget the candle and use a glowstick or battery-operated tea light instead.

Keep your bowl of candy up and away from your pets' reach. Most

people know that dogs and cats shouldn't have candy- especially

chocolate, which is toxic- but even the candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. So remember, no matter how much your pet begs for a sweet, no sharing. If you think your pet has eaten something he shouldn't have, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Before the trick-or-treaters begin, take your dog on a nice long walk. The exercise will help her relax, later. Make sure she's on leash during her walk, in case you encounter any early trick-or-treaters. Dogs can easily be "spooked" by costumes, especially those with little people in them.

While most pets prefer to go aunaturel, some seem to enjoy dressing up. If your pet will be in costume for Halloween, make sure the outfit is safe and comfortable. Always avoid masks or any other costume parts that might impair your pet's vision, hearing or breathing.

Your pets can be easily overwhelmed by trick-or-treaters coming and going. Manage your pets by limiting their access to the door. Use a

leash or a baby gate, or put your pet in a crate or even in a separate room, while the trick-or-treaters are out and about. Turn on some music to muffle the knocking and doorbell ringing and prepare a yummy chew or catnip toy to help keep him occupied so he knows what a good boy he is.

Finally, keep your pet inside on Halloween. People have been known to tease, injure, or steal pets, or worse, on Halloween.

To find other Halloween and animal care tips, visit the Petfinder.com library at http://learn.petfinder.com and www.petvideo.com.

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