Pets

Howl-o-ween pet safety tips: Part 1

MCT

Halloween is right around the corner. Do you have your decorations up and your costume ready?

Believe it or not, this is a time when stores everywhere are stocked with costumes for pets, too. You could dress your pet up like a cute ladybug, wicked witch, devil, pirate or anything you could imagine.

One of my favorites is the hot dog costume for dachshunds. The little wiener dog just looks so natural in a hot dog bun with a streak of mustard running down his back.

While it’s a fun time of year, it’s also a time of great danger to pets so you need to be extra cautious about their safety. That’s why I’ve dedicated this week’s column as well as next week’s column to share tips on how to keep your fur family protected during the Halloween season.

The danger to pets may even begin before the actual holiday, so let’s start with the days leading up to Halloween. This is the time that any black pet is at risk. Whether you have a black cat, black dog, black bunny or black guinea pig, a black animal is vulnerable this time of year.

I wish I could tell you everyone loved animals and would never hurt them. But I’ve been in the animal business long enough to know that isn’t true. Halloween is the time of year evil people go on the prowl looking for black pets to do them harm.

I’ll spare you details I’ve witnessed over the years so just trust me on this. Keep your black pets inside and safe from now until a few weeks after Halloween. If you have a black dog, don’t let him outside without supervision even if you have a fenced yard.

Next let’s think about a costume for your pet. If you’ve ever looked at my Facebook page you’ll know I love a costume. Whether it’s a dinosaur, Superman or yellow jacket, there’s nothing I enjoy more than putting on a costume.

If you pet doesn’t enjoy dressing up, please do not force him. Realize some of the costumes sure look scary and your pet may sincerely be afraid of them.

If your pet doesn’t object to being dressed up then consider the safety of the costume. Make sure the costume doesn’t restrict your pet’s vision or breathing. It’s probably best to avoid costumes with a mask. I don’t know too many pets who like something covering up their faces.

Next avoid costumes that have pieces your pet may chew. Although I enjoy wearing costumes and have since I was a tiny baby, not every pet does nor are they accustomed to them. So many pets first reaction will be to try to chew the costume off. Be careful if the outfit has metal parts such as bells or lots of fabric such as ribbons attached that may be chewed and ingested. The last way you want to spend Halloween is at the veterinarian’s office.

Finally, once you get your fur baby dressed take lots of pictures and parade him around for everyone to see. But my suggestion is you do this well before Halloween and then on the actual night of Halloween you keep your pet safe and secure in a quiet place inside your home without his costume on.

That’s right. I’m asking you not to take your pet trick or treating with you on Halloween. I’ll explain why in my column next week. Don’t miss it.

Send questions to acpup247@yahoo.com. Visit www.acpup.com or like his Facebook page.

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