Keep your pets happy on Halloween
Five simple tips and a fun recipe for a safe and healthy holiday for your pet
(CHILLICOTHE, Ohio, October 17, 2013) – With anticipated retail sales of nearly 6.9 billion dollars on costumes, candy and decorations, it’s clear that Halloween is one of Americans’ favorite holidays.
Halloween can be a fun holiday for families and their pets. Children and adults love dressing up their pets and showing them off to family and friends. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), shoppers will spend $330 million on pet costumes.
Petland wants to make sure pets and their owners have a safe and happy Halloween. Here are some simple tips to make sure the only thing spooky about your Halloween are the goblins and ghouls knocking on your door.
1. KEEP PETS SECURE AND SAFE DURING TRICK OR TREAT
While we may love the sights and sounds of Halloween, our pets may feel differently. Strange and unusual sights and sounds can scare your pet. Petland recommends that you keep your pet inside, out of harm’s way. If your pet scares easily during storms or fireworks, follow the same procedure you would for those situations, whether it be anti-anxiety remedies, a quiet room or a compression jacket, like a Thundershirt. It’s also a good idea to put a safety gate up to keep pets from escaping when trick or treaters knock on the door.
If you plan on walking your pet outside on Halloween, Petland asks responsible pet owners to remember a few key safety tips.
- Keep your pet on a shorter than normal leash to protect them from crowds of children and other pets.
- Walk your pets during daylight hours or after Trick or Treating is over.
- Make sure the pet has a proper ID tag.
- Watch for Jack O’Lanterns lit with a candle as pets can easily knock them over and get burned.
- Watch for candy wrappers on the ground as these can be a chocking hazard.
2. KEEP AN EYE ON DECORATIONS
Halloween is often a time of spooky and fun decorations. If you have pets, please keep in mind where you are placing your decorations, keeping them out of reach from your four-legged friends. Pets are curious by nature and want to sniff and explore new things. Keep an eye on candles too!
3. SUPERVISE COSTUMED PETS
Pet owners love to dress up their pets all year round, but an estimated 22 million people of people will dress their furry friend this Halloween (NRF). The top pet costumes? A pumpkin, a hot dog, cat, a devil, a witch and Superman. Petland says to pay close attention to their pets while they are dressed up to avoid any harm. It’s best to keep them in the costume for small periods of time, where they can be supervised.
“Make sure the costume fits well and is not too tight. Avoid using tight elastics like rubber bands. These products can restrict blood flow and become tangled in the fur,” said Elizabeth Kunzelman, Petland’s director of communication. “Most importantly, never leave a costumed pet alone. Your pet may chew on the outfit. If pieces of a costume are ingested, this can make the pet very ill. They can also get tangled in ribbons or ties and hurt themselves.”
4. PROTECT YOUR BLACK KITTY
Cats have been given many mystical powers through the years. History and superstition have linked felines to witchcraft, making the cat the most likely pet to be talked about on October 31. Specifically, the black cat is a black mark according to many cultural superstitions.
Petland reminds people to keep this in mind as unfortunately, these beliefs can cause people to make bad choices, including harming a pet at Halloween.
“If you own a black cat you should keep your pet inside during the entire month of October,” said Kunzelman. “If you see anyone abusing a pet this Halloween, please contact the proper local authorities.”
5. OFFER SAFE TREATS, KEEP CHOCOLATE AWAY
Chocolate makes up about three-quarters of a trick-or-treater’s loot, according to the National Confectioners Association. With the large amount of candy in many homes during Halloween, Petland says that pet owners should not share any candy, especially chocolate, with their furry friends, as it can be toxic to both cats and dogs.
Chocolate contains theobromine. It is a substance that is easily digested by humans, but can, in large quantities, be fatal to pets. Ten ounces of milk chocolate and even less of unsweetened baking chocolate can qualify as a lethal dose for small pets, especially those weighing 20 pounds or less.
Symptoms such as severe stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea, labored breathing and even seizures can strike a pet after ingesting chocolate. Call your vet if your pet has eaten any chocolate and is experiencing any of these symptoms.
By following these easy pet care guidelines, Halloween can be fun and safe for all members of your family.
For a safe and tasty treat for your pets this Halloween, try the below recipe for Safari Stan’s Halloween Cookies for Fido.
Safari Stan’s Halloween Cookies for Fido
2.5 cups whole wheat flour
½ can canned pumpkin
2 Tbs creamy peanut butter
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. As water as needed to make the dough workable, but dough should be dry and stiff. Roll into ½ inch thick roll and cut into ½ inch pieces or roll out to ¼ inch and use your favorite cookie cutters. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
Petland, Inc. is a franchise operation with full service, retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico and South Africa.
For more information on Petland, visit www.petland.com.