Saturday, October 29, 2011

Advice for Pets at Halloween

Question:  Help, I am normally a sweet natured dog, I know it is late in October and this happens every year.  My owners dress themselves up in costumes and try to dress me up too.  They seem to like it, I do not.  What can I do to prevent this yearly torture?
Signed Dog in Disguise

Dear Dog in Disguise
The end of October brings a holiday called Halloween.  Many people enjoy dressing in costumes and some dogs are okay with this too, but some dogs do not like it.  The costume is not designed to hurt or frighten you, and should allow for proper movement and vision.  If wearing a costume scares you then your owner should not dress you up, or should practice a few days ahead of time, and offer you treats as they train you to accept the costume.

One thing pet owners need to realize this that not only can it be frightening for a pet to wear a costume but when out it is hard for other dogs to "read" the body language of a dog in costume, so owners who dress their dog up need to be aware of this even if a dog is comfortable wearing a costume.

photo source

Question:  Hello, I am one very unhappy cat.  Every year at this time my owners keep me inside, I normally go out when I want.  How can I get them to let me out?
Signed Blackie the Cat

Dear Blackie the Cat
Your owners are probably just trying to keep you safe for a few weeks as pranksters have been known to take cats at Halloween time.  Sometimes the people just want a black cat to use for their party, other times they may play cruel pranks on the cat.  Black cats in particular are at risk, but all pets are vulnerable to pranks.

Also Halloween night itself can be very frightening for a cat that is outside, there are children running around, and lots of noises including fireworks.  You might be scared and run and hide.  You will be safer indoors for a while, many people will actually put their cat in the basement or bathroom the night of Halloween to prevent it from running out the door.


Question:  Hello I am a small dog, every year my owners take me Trick or Treating, but they never share the chocolate and candy.  I think this is unfair.  What can I do to get my fair share of the candy?
Signed Treats

Dear Treats
I know it seems unfair to do all that work and get none of the candy.  However some things that people can eat can be deadly for you.  It is just not worth the risk of letting you have even a small piece of chocolate.  The other candy could cause you to have diarrhea or tummy cramps so they are not good for you either, some have sweeteners that are toxic to you.  Hopefully one of the houses you visit this year will give out dog treats, or your owner will have some at home to give you afterwards.

Happy Halloween!