Tips to Keep Furry Family Members Happy on Halloween

While many people of all ages look forward to Halloween each year, the holiday's festivities can be stressful and even dangerous for your pets. Even normally mellow pets can be confused and spooked by strange sounds and sights and unfamiliar people in costumes. Here are tips from Los Angeles Animal Services to help keep your four-legged loved ones safe:

• Keep pets indoors and away from front door. Have your companion animals stay in a room away from an open door when trick-or-treaters are visiting. Pets can become frightened by the "monsters" and "ghouls" causing them to panic and slip outside.

• Always make sure your pet has up-to-date identification. If your pet escapes, a collar with a current license and/or ID tag on them and a microchip that's registered with your contact information will help reunite you with your companion animal.

• No sweet treats for your furry friend.  Chocolate and other seemingly harmless ingredients can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Put candy where pets can't get to them and dispose of the wrappers right away. Also, remember that children may not understand why Fluffy can't share their treats, so use this as a teaching opportunity.

• Be careful around Jack-o'-lanterns.  Tail wagging is a good thing - unless it's done around a lit candle! Keep candles and lit craved pumpkins at an appropriate height where your pets can't knock them over or get burned.

• Not all pets enjoy dressing up. A decorative collar is far more comfortable than a costume for your pet. Make sure your pet thinks a costume is as much fun as you do before you dress them up for Halloween.

If you do dress your pet in a costume, try it on them before to make sure they are comfortable, check to make sure it will not get wrapped around his or her neck causing choking or get tangled around their legs.

By following these precautions, Halloween can be a fun and safe holiday instead of frightful for pets and people alike.

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