COURTESY OF WILBER BERGADO FOR
HAWAIIAN HUMANE SOCIETY
This trio won the pet costume contest at last year's K-9 Game Day event at Thomas Square. They are dressed as a bullfighter, right, bull and interested spectator.
Protect pets from Halloween’s frights
It's the most bewitching night of the year. Halloween is fun for young and old, but it can be a stressful holiday for pets. Here are a few tips to make sure that Halloween is happy for all.
Keep your pet at home. Remember that ringing doorbells, shrieking kids, costumed strangers and flashing lights can be frightening for pets. Bring your pet inside and keep it in a quiet, separate room. Turn on a radio to some soothing music and provide fresh water and food.
Put identification on your pets. Even if your animal companion is staying at home, trick-or-treat means the front door is opening and closing frequently. Make sure your canine and feline companions are wearing IDs, collars and/or microchip ID in case they slip out.
Feed pets only pet treats. Halloween sweets for people should not be fed to animals. Chocolate can be fatal to dogs and cats, and candy can make them sick. Keep baskets of treats off the floor where animals could swallow not only the candy, but the dangerous foil and plastic wrappings. If you sense that your pet feels left out, compensate with an appropriate pet treat.
Make that pet costume a safe one. Silly, scary, funny, adorable! No matter what look you're going for, make sure your pet is enjoying Halloween as much as you are. Animal costumes should be comfortable enough so the pet can move freely. Avoid outfits with dangling strings and accents that can get tangled or be swallowed. Even the friendliest pooch will become annoyed if his vision is obstructed. Always use a leash if you'll be trick-or-treating. If being "dressed up" is something new to your dog, it could get overheated and excited. It takes only a few minutes for heatstroke to affect your animal companion. Keep your pet cool and watch for panting -- it's a sign that you should take a break and give your dog a drink of cool water.
Pumpkins, candles and pets don't mix. Your lighted jack-o-lantern can be a safety hazard when left where the dog's wagging tail can swat it. That talented cat that climbs the shelves could knock the pumpkin down. Never leave a candle-lit pumpkin unattended.
Enjoy Halloween safely. Our four-legged and feathered friends don't usually share our fascination for shrieking strangers and flashes of light. These activities usually freak out pets, some more than others.
Enjoy a festive Halloween while keeping your animals safe. As their guardians, it's our job to plan ahead to protect them.