Orange County Animal Services is reminding residents to keep pets safe and stress-free this Halloween. Halloween is a fun and exciting time for families and children, but can be extremely scary for pets. Consider the following tips for pet safety:
- Chocolate and candies can be toxic to pets. Be sure to keep candy out of your pet’s reach during and after the festivities.
- Bring all pets indoors before the trick-or-treating begins. Outdoor cats and dogs left in the backyard can fall victim to Halloween pranks.
- Make sure your pet has proper ID tags and is microchipped in case they get separated from you!
- If your pet is wary of strangers or people in costumes, keep your pet away from the front door and trick-or-treaters. Putting your pet in another room during trick-or-treating hours may provide a safe hiding place and reduce your pet’s stress level.
- Keep pumpkins with candles, wires, and cords from holiday decorations out of your pet’s reach.
- Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn can give your pet a stomach ache. Although these plants are non-toxic, they can certainly make your pet uncomfortable if ingested.
- Don’t force your pets to wear costumes if it is not clear he or she enjoys being dressed up. It can cause undue stress.
- If your pet is going to wear a costume, make sure it doesn’t restrict their ability to move, see, breathe, bark, or meow. Equally important, make sure there are no small pieces on the costume that your pet can chew and swallow.
In addition to looking out for the safety of your own pets, Animal Services urges people to also practice safe judgement while trick-or-treating through other neighborhoods as well. Never approach an animal you do not know, especially during active times such as Halloween. If you come across an animal that appears to be acting abnormally or if there is an animal bite to a human, call Animal Control right away to report it and seek medical care. If a bite occurs outside of regular business hours, always call 9-1-1 to be connected to an on-call Animal Control Officer.
Visit www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/halloween-safety-tips for more information on pet safety during Halloween. For contact information or other information about Animal Services, visit www.orangecountync.gov/animalservices.