On Halloween, cats are at risk. Cats—especially black ones, because of a variety of superstitions that surround them—are a common target for Halloween pranksters. They are abducted, injured, and even killed by cruel people who use and abuse them for “pranks” or sacrifices. Many animal shelters won’t even adopt out black cats during the entire month of October in order to keep them safe.
It’s safest to keep cats indoors all year round, but on Halloween, the chances that a cat will be abducted, injured, or killed are even higher than normal. Here are some tips to keep your animal companions—both cats and dogs—safe and happy during the Halloween season:
Always keep cats and dogs indoors before and during Halloween—never let them roam.
A fence may not stop a cruel prankster, so even the backyard is not a safe or secure place for an unsupervised animal.
Put animals in a secure room during trick-or-treat time. Cats can quickly slip out the front door, and dogs sometimes try to bite unsuspecting kids, thinking that they’re intruders. For everyone’s safety, it’s best to keep animals inside a bedroom or family room, away from all the commotion.
Don’t take dogs on trick-or-treating trips.
Dogs can easily become frightened by the endless stream of laughing and screaming children and run off or bite someone. They’ll be much happier if you keep them safe at home in a room where they won’t get spooked by trick-or-treaters.
Take precautions to prevent dogs and cats from ingesting unguarded Halloween candy, sticking their noses or paws into burning candles, or becoming tangled in dangling decorations. It’s fine to decorate, but remember always to keep animals safe by hanging decorations up high.
All candy (and the wrappers) can cause animals to become sick, and chocolate—which contains an ingredient that’s poisonous to dogs—can even kill them. Want to give your best friend a treat this Halloween? Why not make a batch of peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats for him or her.
Remember That Animals Aren’t Dolls
Dogs and cats don’t like dressing up for Halloween the way that kids (and adults!) do. Many animals become really stressed when they’re forced to put on costumes, because they’re not used to wearing clothes like humans are. Elastic bands can cut off their circulation and cause them a lot of pain. Make sure that Halloween is fun for everyone by reserving costumes for humans instead of animal companions.
If the worst does happen and you spot animal victims of cruelty on Halloween or any time of year, call local authorities to report the incident.
Please share this article with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter so that they, too, will keep their cats and dogs safe during the Halloween festivities.