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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : pet corner December 17, 2014


10/22/2009 4:33:00 PM
Ghosts, Goblins and your pets
The
The "Pet of the Week" is going to be "Shelby." She is a beautiful Shepherd mix with eyes so beautiful that you can almost see into her soul.

With Halloween approaching so rapidly, I thought it would once again be the perfect time to give you those Halloween safety tips.

Although this can be a very exciting time for children, it can be very traumatic for our animals.

Can you imagine how frightening this time of year can be for them? I'm a grown adult but Halloween night sometimes frightens me.

I get spooked when I already know that none of the bizarre things are real. Think about how our animals must feel.

One of the most important things you can do at this time of year is to keep your animals indoors on the scariest night of the year.

Remember too, it's not a very good idea to let your furry best friend answer the front door with you when you are passing out treats to all of the little goblins.

Not only could your best friend get aggressive, but he could also get spoofed and run out the door.

As you already know the streets are filled with people, noises and scary costumes on Halloween night. How quickly is your pet going to come to someone chasing him in a monster costume?

Some pranksters think that letting dogs out of their yards on Halloween is a great trick, but it's a terrifying experience for dogs.

Dogs that are confined to yards can become injured when kids poke at them through fences or pelt them with eggs.

For everyone's safety, it's best to keep animals inside a bedroom or some other safe place, away from all of the commotion. Your poor animal has no idea what is going on.

It's not a very good idea to let your children take the dog on trick-or-treating trips. It's Halloween when most kids are more interested in collecting candy than watching the dog.

Dogs can easily become frightened by the endless stream of laughing and screaming children. The darkness outside will make it even harder to find a lost pet.

That's not even mentioning the houses that are fixed up like haunted houses with all of those fear-provoking noises being played in the yards and driveways.

It would be very easy for your best friend to get spooked and bite someone. You have to admit that some of those houses really seem haunted.

The noises seem to scream all of the way down into your shoes. The chill I get running down my spine when I just think about it is unbelievable.

I shudder as I consider hearing those noises. So now the big secret is out. Halloween scares me to death.

One of the best things about my children being grown up is that I no longer have to take them trick or treating.

Tricks and treats are for the children, not for your pets. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats.

Your pet doesn't know to take the candy wrappers off of something that smells so enticing. Your pet could ingest cellophane, plastic and even sucker sticks.

Do you realize how hazardous those items could be if your pet swallowed them?

Hopefully they would pass on out of the body, but worse things are very possible.

The colors in streamers and other decorations can also be toxic. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian.

Carved pumpkins certainly are festive, but extreme caution needs to be exercised if you choose to add a candle. Animals are like children they sometimes have accidents.

Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

One swish of a dog's tail and there goes everything within reach. Sorry mom, it was an accident. That's hard to remember when the tablecloth is on fire.

I found a perfect inexpensive battery operated candle that gives the glow of Halloween, without the danger of fire.

Do you dress your animals in funny costumes this time of year? Yes, I do like to dress up my animals so that's one of the two things about Halloween that I like.

Did you guess my other favorite? Of course it's the candy. Chocolate of course. Lethal to animals, but I have no problem collecting and keeping it safe for you.

Please don't dress up your animal unless you know that he or she doesn't mind it. My dogs put up with it because I always put something on them.

Hats, slippers, necklaces or whatever I have that would look cute on them. Now I didn't say that they like it. What I mean is they tolerate it.

Dressing them in something new isn't something that I am doing for no apparent reason for just one night.

If you do dress up your pet, make sure that the costume isn't annoying or unsafe.

Make sure that the clothing doesn't impede his ability to breathe, bark or see. Also make sure that there isn't anything dangling that your pet could choke on.

Please remember to not force your animal to look like a ballerina, a pirate, a ghost or anything else unless they enjoy it as much as you do.

If your animal really doesn't want to participate in your game of dress up, the solution would be for you to wear the costume. At least you won't wind up in quarantine at VVHS for biting someone.

A couple of final reminders before the holidays arrive. Keep your animals in a confined area where they feel safe. It is very important that they don't slip out accidentally as the door opens and closes for the trick-or-treaters.

Candy and gum in any forms can be dangerous to your pet. Keep everything with any type of sugar or artificial sweeteners away from your animals, it can be lethal.

If Halloween means a party at your home, don't let your animals consume alcohol products. Have you ever seen people that believe it's funny to give animals sips of beer and other alcoholic beverages? There is absolutely no humor in this practice; it can also cause the death of your pet.

Many children and adults wear costumes during this festive time of the year. If the costumes you and your family members are going to wear frighten or upset your pet, please remember to have everyone get dressed after your animal is confined for the evening.

This is a great time of year for children and adults, but it can turn into a disaster for your pet if these precautions aren't taken.

Be responsible pet owners. Enjoy your evening and let your pet rest comfortably.

Our "Pet of the Week" is going to be "Shelby." She is a beautiful Shepherd mix with eyes so beautiful that you can almost see into her soul.

Shelby has a longer coat that will need some upkeep. She is not one of the dogs that need a daily brushing but I'm sure she wouldn't mind if you are so inclined.

She would love a yard and someone to play with. Walks are in her top favorite list, how about yours?

Stop in the shelter located at 1502 W. Mingus and meet Shelby and all of her friends also waiting for new homes.

Shelby's adoption fee has been discounted by $20 thanks to the generous animal lovers in the Verde Valley.


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