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Halloween is a fun time for families to share in the excitement of household decorations, costumes, and door-to-door revelry. Nonetheless, it is also a time we need to be cognizant of our pet's reaction to all this ghoulish activity.
Here are some suggested cautions from the American Animal Hospital Association:
1. Loud noise created by trick-or-treaters can frighten your pet. Dogs that are easily excitable or threatened by strangers should be kept away from the front door to keep them from biting strangers or running into the street. The frequent opening of the door and the distraction in dealing with trick-or-treaters also creates an opportunity for cats to escape onto the street with resultant potential injury. Ideally, keep the family pet confined to a separate room.
2. Candy, especially chocolate, is toxic for animals and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances, and even death. Candy should be kept out of the pet's reach and young children should be told not to share Halloween “bounty” with their pets.
3. Halloween costumes for pets are cute, but owners should be wary of costumes that contain rubber bands to keep them in place on the animal. If rubber bands are mistakenly left on the pet after the costume comes off, they can quickly burrow into the animal's skin.
4. Pets are better off left at home during trick-or-treat excursions; however, if they are taken along, it is best to keep them on a very short leash to keep them from fighting with other animals or biting strangers that they may encounter.
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