Keep Halloween Safe and Fun for You and Your Pets, Say Veterinarians at Colorado State University

Halloween is a lot of fun for kids and adults alike, but family pets need a little extra consideration to be kept safe from harm.

The veterinarians at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital remind pet owners about ways to keep pets safe this Halloween.

" If you have a dark-furred or black cat, plan on keeping it indoors. People are still superstitious about black cats and may try to harm them. Also, kids like to play pranks that could get out of hand. To be safe, keep your pet indoors on Halloween and even the day before and the day after.

" It’s best to keep all pets indoors on Halloween. Cats and dogs could become frightened by the costumes, strange sounds and excited voices and run away. They could easily become lost or run into traffic and get hurt.

" Keep your pet away from the front door if you are greeting trick-or-treaters. The best plan would be to keep your pets confined to another room with their favorite toys and treats. This would keep them from suddenly darting through the door and running off; or, in the case of some dogs, react negatively to the noise of doorbells and strange visitors by growling, barking or lunging at your trick-or-treaters.

" Keep chocolate and alcoholic beverages away from your pet. Both of these can be toxic to animals. Even half an ounce of chocolate per pound of body weight can

cause serious pancreatic problems. If your pet has swallowed either of these substances, get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Again, the best plan may be to keep your pet confined to another room with his or her own toys, food and water.

" Celebrate Halloween with your pet by sharing treats made especially for them, such as favorite dog biscuits or cat treats.

" Elaborate costumes are cute on kids but not comfortable for pets. If you’re thinking of dressing up your pet for the holiday, please give careful consideration to the safety of your animal. Some pets become anxious, frightened and panicky by being forced to wear something unfamiliar and could inadvertently harm themselves.

" Don’t make a gift of a black cat for Halloween! A better idea would be a stuffed toy cat, cat-shaped candy or plastic cat ornament. Or, make a gift of a trip to your local animal shelter after the holiday to help your friend select a pet suited for their personality and home situation.

Have a Happy Halloween!