On Halloween and on Mischief Night, pets—especially black cats—are vulnerable to pranks and sheer cruelty. It's wise to keep pets indoors or ensure they are properly restrained. But there are less obvious risks to consider. Follow these suggestions to keep your dog or cat safe:
Loud noises and unfamiliar sights can startle a dog or cat. Your panicky pet may dart into traffic, jump a fence, or bolt outside when you open the door. For less than 10 bucks, you can buy your pet an identification tag with your name, address, and phone number on it so that it has a chance of being returned. Keep a collar and tags on your pet 24/7/365, not just on Halloween. Replace the tag and update your pet's microchip registration if you move.
Ill-fitting costumes can injure ligaments, restrict breathing, or abrade your pet’s skin with tight elastic—to say nothing of the public humiliation of being seen with ladybug antennae on one's head. It's best to leave your dog at home (and don't even think about trying the ladybug thing on a cat). If you do bring your furry pal along, use a short leash, and limit your costuming efforts to a bandana or perhaps a blingy collar.
If candy is left unattended, a pet could choke on a foil or cellophane wrapper. Chocolate, raisins, and grapes are toxic to dogs, so keep the Raisinettes out of Coco's reach. Be sure to explain to children why they shouldn't share their haul with their four-footed friends.
Unfortunately for Lucky, cobwebs and plastic bats are not digestible. Keep your pets away from all decorations and costumes, especially if someone in your household will be wearing a meat dress this year.