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Austin Humane Society

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Pet Safety Reminders for Halloween; Costumes and Candy Can be Fun, But They Also Pose Dangers

Halloween is almost here, and it’s a good time to remind pet owners about the steps they should take to keep their furry friends happy and healthy. The Austin Humane Society offers these simple tips to make the spooky evening safer.

Austin, TX, October 31, 2012 --( Keep the candy bowl out of reach. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol can also cause problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Watch for electrical hazards. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept away from pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts, burns, or a possibly life-threatening shock.

Be careful with candles. A carved pumpkin may be festive, but exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock over a jack-o-lantern and burn their snout or cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting singed by candle flames.

Costumes can cause stress. Don't put a dog or cat in a costume without carefully monitoring your pet. A costume should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede its ability to breathe, bark, or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night.

Beware of choking hazards. Take a close look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces that could be choking hazards. The same goes for decorations around your home, especially those on the floor.

Set aside a playroom for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can easily scare and stress your pets. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside. A great idea is to make a playroom for your pets, filled with their own toys and treats.

IDs are year-round costumes. Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver.
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Austin Humane Society
Kelly Hanes

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