Keep scaredy cats (and dogs) safe during Halloween

VERO BEACH — With Halloween just around the corner, keep your pets from becoming real scaredy cats (and dogs) by following The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County’s safety tips.

These tips can help decrease your pets’ stress levels as monsters and fairies take to the streets in search of candies.

Walk dogs before dark and keep cats indoors. Once night falls, trick-or-treaters will be out in groups, often making loud noises that can frighten pets. Cats are always safest indoors and it’s best to walk dogs before festivities begin. It’s especially important that pets wear their collars and ID tags if you’ll be opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters. Keep pets in a secure and quiet room for maximum safety.

Know what to keep out of paws’ reach. Chocolate candy as well as plastic and aluminum wrappers can be toxic to animals. Explain the importance of not feeding candy to pets to all family members. And Jack-o-lanterns and Halloween props around the home may brighten up festivities, but any item containing candles or electrical cords should be kept at a safe distance from all pets.

If you are dressing up your pet, make sure it’s done safely. While most animals prefer not to wear costumes, if this is something that you and your pet both enjoy, make sure the costume isn’t flammable and doesn’t restrict your pet’s eyesight, breathing or circulation.

In the event of a pet emergency, call for help. Accidents can happen even when people take precautions. Keep your veterinarian’s emergency number on hand as well as the National Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435. For pets that become lost on Halloween, call the Humane Society’s Lost and Found hotline at (772) 388-3331 ext. 29.

Be vigilant before and after Oct. 31. Many kids celebrate Halloween several days prior to and following Oct. 31, so be attentive to your pet’s safety before and after the Halloween holiday.

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