Orange County Animal Services issued several pet safety tips for this Halloween. The group hopes the following tips will help make sure pets have just as happy a Halloween as everyone else.
- Chocolate and candies can be toxic to pets. Be sure to keep candy out of your pet's reach during and after the festivities.
- Bring all pets indoors before the trick-or-treating begins. Outdoor cats and dogs left in the backyard can fall victim to Halloween pranks.
- Make sure your pet has proper ID tags and is microchipped in case they get separated from you!
- If your pet is wary of strangers or people in costumes, keep your pet away from the front door and trick-or-treaters. Putting your pet in another room during trick-or-treating hours may provide a safe hiding place and reduce your pet's stress level.
- Keep pumpkins with candles, wires, and cords from holiday decorations out of your pet's reach.
- Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn can give your pet a stomach ache. Although these plants are non-toxic, they can certainly make your pet uncomfortable if ingested.
- Don't force your pets to wear costumes if it is not clear he or she enjoys being dressed up. It can cause undue stress.
- If your pet is going to wear a costume, make sure it doesn't restrict their ability to move, see, breathe, bark, or meow. Equally important, make sure there are no small pieces on the costume that your pet can chew and swallow.
As for trick-or-treaters, Orange County Animal Services said they should be cautious about approaching animals they don't know--especially during Halloween.
If anyone comes across an animal that appears to be acting abnormally or if an animal bites a human, be sure to call Animal Control or 911 immediately.