Animal costumes have become quite an attraction for Halloween festivities. As adorable as they are, playing pet dress-up can be a big mess-up for many of our four legged friends. Certain pets won’t mind at all and some may even prance around proud and delighted. Obviously the first step is making sure you have a willing “pet-ticipant”.
Once you get the green light, it’s best to make sure the costume fits properly and isn’t unsafe or annoying. Annoying attire could lead to unexpected aggression. Apparel that is too large can get twisted or hung on external objects, leading to injury. Closely examine your pet’s costume and remove anything that could easily be chewed off. It’s also a good idea for pet parents to have a camera within reach in case the costume is quickly chewed off!
One mustn’t forget to accessorize. No costume is complete without some bling, bling – the ID tag. Although we don’t like to think about it, accidents do happen. Even the most social of animals may need to be put in a separate room if you plan to welcome trick-or-treaters. Multiple strangers and constant opening of the door might stress out your faithful companion. Use caution that your front door isn’t a quick getaway for a stressed out pooch.
Make sure to employ the house rule of no tricks and no treats for the pets – unless of course it’s pet tricks and pet treats. Put that bowl of candy out of reach in case Fido comes sniffing. Chocolate and various candies — especially those containing the artificial sweetener xylitol — can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Tin foil and candy wrappers can pose choking hazards or cause intestinal blockage.
A carved pumpkin is a delightful sight but use extreme caution if using a lit candle. Whether it’s a powerful wagging tail or curious kittens, a roll away burning pumpkin is sure to spoil the evening’s fun. It’s also a good idea to bring outside pets in for the night as often they become targets of pranks from comical to cruel.
Keep these simple tips in mind for a safe and happy howl-o-ween! If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison ControlCenter at (888) 426-4435
A Healthy Albany, written by Kristen Taylor.