Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween's Hazing and Hazards.

Jekyll, the shark.
Not a fan of the costume.

It is that time year where the sun sets earlier and we are all reluctant to remove ourselves from the warm blankets to witness the frost kissed windows. The trees begin their self-preservation vasoconstriction causing their limbs to squeeze the life blood from their leaves causing them to shed like jewels from their crown in a glorious display of an autumnal ticker tape celebration. It is a magnificent time of year. The heat has dissipated, the allergens are receding to hibernate until another summer day months away, and  the cataclysmic onslaught of the offspring of those incredibly prolific breeders has taken a small break to let the reproductive organs regroup and refuel. It is fall!

The holidays are looming and the drum major of them is Halloween. The time to dress up, unleash our inner ghouls and dance in the darkness in search of high calorie, sugar laden treats! It is Halloween the gala of costumes, the parade of marauders, the display of gallantry and cacodemons. 

Ah, it is as entertaining to watch as it is to participate in. But like all haunted hallowed eves there are dangers that lurk.

Monty, (who's dad is my very good college friend), 
as Little Orphan Annie
Here is my Halloween list of pet dangers to beware of;

Remember your pet hates them. They may also be petrified of them. Any petrified pet will act erratically, and erratically can imply attacking. Do not demand more of your pet than they are capable of handling. Halloween is a one day of the year event. I am not sure that trying to condition them to every monster in the universe is a beneficial endeavor. Choose your battles, and know your pets limitations and tolerances. Do not leave a pet unattended with a costume on. Your pet views that costume as a scarlet letter. And as fast as a ferret they can twist, turn, convolute, and intussuscept all in an effort to escape the straight jacket you placed them in. All costumes, wigs, clothing, jewelry, and accessories can be, might be, and should not be, swallowed. To compound your dilemma they are in most cases made of synthetic unforgiving, indigestible material. The only good news is that much of it will show up nicely on either your x-ray or ultrasound. Dress your pet, snap your photos, and start leash walking to collect your booty.  Once your escapade is over strip your pet back down to their birthday suit.

Charlie, the black sheep,
and Jekyll the bunny.

Sorry. Any and all of it is forbidden for your pet. Your two legged kids are your decision. (Don’t ask the dentist for their vote though).

Savannah, the mouse.

It is super important that the trick or treating Halloween entourage be highly visible. I like to use reflective tape. It is very safe, very effective and leaves your hands free to collect candy. The other bright ideas are glow sticks. They say non-toxic, but who wants to find out how non-toxic they are? Dogs will eat anything, especially if it dangles, flashes, and swings from your best friends body. Last note, keep your pet as highly visible and as close to you as is possible. The biggest danger to your pet is when they are about 6 feet away from you on the end of a dark leash. A driver will automatically be focused on the group of children and may not see your pet lower to the ground and not well lit.

Jekyll the pumpkin

Trick Or Treating;
This is Pandora's box on public display. My honest heartfelt advice is to leave your pet at home. Why? well, because there are too many strangers, too many opportunities for accidents, mishaps, and mischievous beings. Too many people want to approach your scared, reluctant pup and place their hands on them. It is already dark out, and a pups ability to see well is significantly lessened in low light. They know this, and they will hyper-react to stimuli because of it. So here’s what we have; First, decreased ability to see, and second, increased anxiety due to loud chaotic goblins fleeting about. The result? We have two criteria in place for a perfect storm. Add your pup to this and voila! Trifecta! Keep your pet at home.

Oh, and another last note! Please, please send me those photos! Have a wonderful safe Halloween everyone!

My baby bunny.

 Halloween, it might be your children's favorite holiday of the year, but it probably isn't your pets. Be safe, be proactive, and be wary. There are ghosts that linger in the night.

Oh, and another last note! Please, please send me those photos! Have a wonderful safe Halloween everyone!
My mom and sister. When we collectively dressed as the Addams Family.
At my house.
Which never requires too much decorating to look like the Haunted Halloween House.

If you have any pet related questions you can find me, and a whole slew of amazing people, at We are happy to help you, and we are always FREE to use! Come join us as we help people take better care of their pets. Also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice.


  1. Those dogs are all really cute. I actually have been looking for a new veterinary hospital to take my pets to when they get sick. The one I was going to was not treating my pets very well. I need a place that I can really trust.

    1. Hello!!
      Come by anytime and say hello! We always have coffe, drinks, and lollipops out! And this time of year Halloween candy!
      And best of all we LOVE meeting new friends. Your pet will always be welcomed here.