Keep dogs and cats safe on Halloween with tips on costumes, decorations, food and more.
Masked intruders lurk on the doorstep, making demands and threatening mayhem. You know it’s all in fun, but Halloween can be anything but a treat for dogs and other pets. Here are some tips to keep them safe:
1. Shelter: Provide a safe place indoors away from commotion and mischief. Run a fan or radio to drown out the doorbell.
2. Exercise: Take the dog out for a brisk walk to burn off some energy before it gets dark and the trick-or-treaters start knocking on your door.
3. Tags: Make sure your pet is wearing ID tags and is microchipped. Both can increase the chances of a pet being returned if it should dart out the door.
4. Decorations: Wagging tails and curious noses can easily topple pumpkins, candles and other decorations. Secure items that may be tipped or pulled down. Provide clear walkways for both pets and people. Don’t let pets chew on decorations.
5. Food: Keep candy and other non-pet foods out of reach. Bags and wrappers also should be kept away from pets. All can be a hazard if ingested.
6. Costumes: If you dress up your pet, do it for just a short time and take a photo. The longer a pet is in costume, the more likely it can become stressed or injured in the outfit. Make sure the costume doesn’t restrict breathing, vision, hearing or movement.
Sources: ASPCA, Seattle Animal Shelter and Bark Busters USA
Seattle Times desk editor Judy Averill contributed to this feature.