Like other boisterous holidays, Halloween can be a dangerous time for domestic animals, and local animal services officials are reminding the public how to keep their furry friends safe Saturday night.

According to Los Angeles Animal Services, “even normally mellow pets can be spooked by strange sounds, sights, and people in costumes.”

The agency offers the following safety tips:

— Keep pets indoors and create a quiet, calming environment for them.

— No sweets for your four-legged sweetie. Chocolate and other seemingly harmless candy can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Keep candy where pets can’t get to them and throw wrappers away in the trash. Also, remember that children may not understand why pets can’t share their treats, so use this as a teaching opportunity.

— Be careful around Jack-o’-Lanterns. Tail wagging is a good thing — unless it’s done around a lit candle. Keep candles and candle-lit carved pumpkins at an appropriate height where your pets can’t knock them over or get burned.

— Not all pets enjoy dressing up. A decorative collar is far more comfortable than a costume for your pet. If you do put your pet in a costume, try it on to make sure they are comfortable, and ensure it will not get wrapped around his or her neck causing choking or get tangled around their legs.

— Ensure your pet is licensed and microchipped with up-to-date identification. If for any reason your pet becomes lost, ensuring they have a collar with a current license and/or ID tag on them and a microchip that’s registered with your most current contact information, will help reunite you with your companion animal.

— Don’t leave your pets in a car. A car can overheat, even when the window has been opened slightly. Even if the temperature isn’t too hot outside, your car can get up to 20 degrees warmer. Always check to make sure that dogs are welcome where you are going, otherwise leave them at home.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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