Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Pet 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's my list of Halloween pet dangers to beware of;

Remember these are foreign items to your pet, and most pets are frightened of them. They are afraid to be dressed in them and don't understand why other dogs turn into alligators, superheros, and cheerleaders, etc... Any frightened pet will act erratically, and erratically can manifest as cowering, hiding, fleeing, and even attacking. Do not demand more of your pet than they are capable of handling. Halloween is a one day of the year event and trying to condition them to every monster in the universe for this one day 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. They are a very poor choice of calories, detrimental to the pancreas and chocolate in larger quantities can even be toxic. Not to mention the wrappers being an obstructive potential. 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
Jack O'Lanterns;
The carved pumpkins are the harbinger of the Halloween season. Nothing says spooky like the flicker of a candle in the hollow of a carved pumpkin. The flicker glow of a candle is alluring and calls inquisitive noses and whiskers. Your glowing Jack on the porch should never be left alone with your pets.

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.

Trick or Treaters;
Remember those little goblins at your door are intruders to your guard dogs and spooked house cats. The safest place for your four legged kids is safely is in their crate closed away from the bustling activities, or in a quiet enclosed safe room. Set them up in their safe spot early and return to them after the front porch light is off.

The old superstitions that put your pet in danger;
Black cats and stray pets. The night of all hollows eve is notoriously dangerous to these guys. Keep your pets inside under close supervision and be the advocate for them. Lastly, help dispel the superstition by adopting a black pet(s) (the lowest adoption rates is among the black cats and dog) and embracing the beauty of a pet in dire need of a friend.

Do you have any pet Halloween insights to add? Please let me know.

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.

The 2014 Halloween photos

Charlie the cowardly lion.

Jekyll the spider.

..the shark.

..the frog..

Charlie the  pirate

..the dragon.

..the other dragon..

and the boys...

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

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