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5 Reasons to Keep Your Pet Inside on Halloween

[caption id="attachment_1177" align="align-right" width="300" caption="I'm the one on the right."][/caption] Hi! I'm Winky the one-eyed cat, here with a guest post on Halloween Pet Safety. A quick glance around the internet will reveal some commonsense advice--don't feed dogs chocolate; don't let your cat lick a lit Jack-O-Lantern. I'll just go whole-hog here and say it's best to simply keep your pet inside. In fact, I'd recommend keeping your pet confined to a crate or an interior room, removed from the constant knocking and doorbell ringing, which can become extremely stressful for everyone involved. By doing so, you've also eliminated the possibility of Fido or Fluffy darting out the door past an unsuspecting trick-or-treater and into the Great Beyond. Microchipped or not, pets are always at risk when they're outside unsupervised, but particularly so on Halloween. Let's explore why:

  1. Children running around in scary costumes--dogs and cats may become spooked and run faster and further from home, or, goodness forbid, nip at someone.
  2. Eating random candy--candy, particularly some forms of chocolate, is unhealthy and potentially lethal to pets, and there is all sorts of candy floating around the neighborhood on this special night.
  3. Unruly children or teenagers who are up to no good and might try to hurt an animal. We hate to say it, but it does happen. How do you think I lost this eye? Okay, kidding, I lost it to another cat, but still. You never know.
  4. Lack of police support. Halloween isn't a good time to lose a pet, because think about it: if you call the police, they're going to be busy with more pressing matters, like managing traffic and street crossings, or responding to reports of vandalism and tomfoolery. You're way better off losing your dog or cat on a random weeknight when the streets aren't flooded with children and parents. Police have their hands full keeping the peace on this night.
  5. Overcrowded emergency care. Finally, should you have to take your pet for medical attention, the clinic could be full. Ever heard about the emergency room during a full moon? The rumors are true.
Speaking of rumors...I'm sure you've heard all about black cats on Halloween.  (In case you haven't...the myth is that adoption agencies prohibit black cats from being adopted out around Halloween because evil-doers may procure them with the intent of inflicting ceremonial harm.) In reality, adoption agencies are stringent with their adoption requirements year-round, and don't really notice an increase in requests for black cats near the end of October.  (Anyone interested in further research can reference National Geographic's 2007 article titled "Ritual Cat Sacrifices a Halloween Myth, Experts Say.") So, the truth is that black cats aren't nearly as persecuted as urban (and suburban) legend would have everyone believe. Having said that, it's best to keep your kitties inside on Halloween--black, white, furry or hairless--and your doggies, too. I know some of you have read thus far thinking, "Whatever, my dog LOVES Halloween, and no WAY am I keeping him cooped up inside! I'm Colonel Sanders this year, and he's the chicken thigh!" I hear you, buddy. I hear you. This paragraph is for you. Of course, some pets are perfectly at ease in the Halloween festive atmosphere, and enjoy dressing up. Just be sure that your furry pal's getup isn't restrictive in any way. People are becoming more and more sensitive to dog and cat costumes and apparel that could be construed as cruel, or, at the very least, inconsiderate. Not to state the obvious, but pets can't talk. They can't tell you if a costume is rubbing them the wrong way--literally or figuratively. And seriously, to each his own, but do you think you'll catch me wearing a pumpkin sweater? I may have one eye, but I'm not blind.... Happy trick-or-treating, and stay safe out there!            
Earth's Balance Living with Pets   black cats cats chocolate halloween pet safety

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