Mary A. Castillo
Costumes, candy and eerie jack-o-lanterns make Halloween night one
of the most eagerly anticipated celebrations of the year. But it’s a
potentially hazardous one for pets.
“Although Halloween has been quiet here in the past, this is just
a prevention measure,” Animal Shelter Director Nancy Goodwin said.
One of the biggest culprits for a trip to the vet is candy.
Chocolate can be downright poisonous for dogs and cellophane or tin
foil wrappings can cause choking, Goodwin said.
Even if owners keep candy and party beverages out of reach, pets
might be confused or even frightened when the miniature Bride of
Frankenstein appears at the front door.
“Owners should keep a pet in a room or have them spend the night
at a kennel,” Goodwin advised. Pets should also be wearing collars
with ID tags just in case they make the great escape.
But Goodwin acknowledged that not all pets are scaredy cats.
“Certain breeds like pugs and basset hounds could care less,” she
said. In fact, they might feel neglected if they’re not joining the
fun in a costume of their own.
Halloween safety tips
* Don’t leave your pet out in the yard. There are plenty of
incidents of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured and even
killed pets on this night. Black cats are especially targeted for
pranks or harm.
* Trick-or-Treat candies are not for pets.
* Be watchful of pets around lighted pumpkins: they can knock
them over and cause a fire or get burned.
* Don’t dress a pet in a costume unless you know they love it. If
you do, make sure the costume doesn’t constrict or obstruct the
* All but the most social dogs should be kept in a separate room
during trick-or-treat visiting hours.
* Be careful your dog or cat doesn’t dart out through an open
door and make sure they’re wearing collars with ID tags.
For more information, getting an ID tag for your pet or if you
have lost a pet in the cities of Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods please
call (949) 497-3552.