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Halloween - No Treat for Pets!



CANDY IS DANDY FOR kids and the young at heart this time of year. But the tricks and treats that make Halloween special for people can be horrific for pets and pet owners.

Nothing would be a bigger Halloween treat for this orphaned pup than to have a real forever home. AHS has hundreds of dogs and cats waiting for families to adopt them.

“Halloween is great fun for humans, but filled with stressful situations and hazards for animals,” said Roseann Trezza, Executive Director, Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park. “We urge all pet owners to use pet sense – think like your cat or dog – and keep the celebrations happy for everyone.”

This time of year, veterinary hospitals and emergency rooms are deluged with frantic pet owners whose cats or dogs either ate something that made them very sick or were victims of some type of Halloween prank. Stressful situations can cause a “fight or flight” instinct in your pet, making them unduly aggressive or prompting them to run away.

Just the Halloween treats, alone, are enough to make a fun celebration turn into a horrific event for you and your pet. A recent government study stated that too much sugar has long-term health effects on people, causing many people to opt for artificially sweetened goodies. At least one of those, Xylitol, is EXTREMELY toxic to dogs in even the tiniest amount. So is chocolate.

And foods made with real sugar are unhealthy for most animals, too. The cellophane that many candies are wrapped in are also harmful to pets who ingest them. Keep all candy out of your pet’s reach. If you want to give your pet at treat, give your dog or cat a special goody made just for them.

Along with keeping sweet treats out of your pet’s reach, Associated Humane Societies offers the following tips:

• Keep pets inside and under your control. They would best be left in a quiet area of the house so that they do not see strange creatures coming and going. Many pets left unattended in yards become the targets for misguided and or cruel youths. This time of year, pets are sometimes stolen, tortured and even killed. Cats, particularly black ones, are especially preyed upon this time of year.
• Pets can’t –and shouldn’t trick or treat. Pet thefts are on the rise everywhere. Your child might love walking the dog while trick-or-treating through the neighborhood, but it definitely puts the pet at risk for theft. Leave the dog safely at home!
• Let your pet dress as him or herself: Unless you know that your dog or cat really enjoys dressing up, don’t do it. Sure, it’s cute to see your pet dressed like Superman or a witch, but in most cases it stresses out the animal. If you must put a costume on your pet, make sure that the animal’s view is not obstructed.
• Keep jack-o-lanterns, candles and any other flammable items far out of the way. Curious kitties and wagging tails can knock over items, burning themselves or causing a fire.
• Make sure your dog or cat is wearing proper identification or is microchipped. In case he or she runs out the door your chances are much better of having your pet safely returned to you.
• Pets make the best treats! If you want to treat yourself to something sweeter than candy and which can be shared with your entire family, consider adopting a dog or cat. There are hundreds of dogs and cats waiting for adoption at the Associated Humane Societies’ Animal Shelters in Forked River, Tinton Falls, and Newark. Or, why not use the cash you’d spend on candy for yourself to donate to any of the animal care programs operated by Associated Humane Societies?

10/8/2010

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