I love Halloween! It’s true that I’m not a black cat, I’m a black dog, and maybe that doesn’t seem as spooky for the season. But I’ve discovered that over in England, “black dogs” are famous types of ghosts who haunt creepy crossroads and crumbling castles, and they have neat names like “Padfoot” and “Barghest.” Arthur Conan Doyle used these black dog legends for his Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, and…
Okay, I’m getting off topic. The point is, I love Halloween and so do a lot of pets. But … you need to make sure your furry family members stay safe during this time of year, because there are some potential hazards. And they don’t include spectral ghost dogs. I’ve taken some tips from Pet MD and the ASPCA for Halloween Pet Safety:
Keep candy and pets separate
Chocolate and many other delicious candy treats are harmful for pets. Chocolate in particular can be toxic for both cats and dogs. (Cats are unlikely to eat it, however, but dogs really love it.) But sugar-free candies aren’t much better, since the artificial sweeteners in them can also create health troubles in animals. Don’t let your pet eat any candy during the season, and make sure you have the sweets stored up in cabinets where the animals can’t reach them!
Keep glow sticks away from pets as well
Glow sticks are fun on Halloween night: the kids love to get them started and then carry them around, and adults love that they help keep children visible and safe. However, the liquid in them can seriously irritate and bother pets, and dogs may like to chew on them. So make sure you keep track of the glows sticks and properly dispose of them when you’re finished with them
Don’t make your pets dress up if they don’t want to
Yes, it’s cute to buy pets costumes—especially Star Wars themed ones—for your pets. (Have you ever seen a bulldog wearing Princess Leia hair buns? It’s so adorable.) But be sensitive to how your pet feels about the costume. The ASPCA recommend you only put a costume on your pet if your pet loves it. And even then, take special care that the costume doesn’t restrict movement or could be a choking hazard for your pet.
Be careful with decorations—especially wires
This is the same warning I offer during December: low hanging decorations and poorly placed wires can present hazards to pets. You don’t want a dog or cat chewing on exposed wires or becoming entangled in them. Nor do you want a pet cutting itself trying to chew and eat a hanging bat or witch ornament. Treat the use of wires and decorations the same way you would with a small child around the house.
And speaking of general safety, if you use a gas furnace in Alcoa, TN or elsewhere in our service area, make sure you’ve scheduled maintenance for it through our Comfort Club maintenance program. This is the best way to see that you have a safe gas furnace to help you through the winter that’s coming right around the corner!
Stay spooky (and safe),