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Tips to keep Halloween fun and safe for our furry friends

Animal Humane Society has some pointers for taking care of your four-legged friends this Halloween.
Halloween and all its craziness can be a bit scary for reticent dogs and cats.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — 'Tis the season for dressing up your furry friends in a pumpkin costume!

Halloween is a time for tricks and treats for your pets, while also being aware of potential dangers to them. The Animal Humane Society (AHS) created a set of guidelines that pet parents alike can lean into during the holiday:

  • Pumpkin is a safe food for dogs, cats and critters. Feel free to get your pets in on the action by feeding them a little bit of your pumpkin guts and seeds as a treat.
  • If you’re planning on handing out candy this year, now is the time to desensitize your pet to the sound of knocking and create positive associations. Have someone knock on the door and then give your pet a treat. With enough repetitions, your pet will start to associate treats every time someone is at the door.
  • If your pet is shy or fearful by nature, or if they have a habit of door dashing- plan to confine them in a safe, quiet room as far away from the door as possible. Play a radio, TV or white-noise machine to muffle noises. If your pet does end up getting out and going missing, check out lost and found pet resources and keep an eye on the Found Pets Bulletin Board.
  • Keep lit candles and candy out of reach. Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats, while xylitol (a common sweetener) is toxic to just dogs.
  • If you intend to take your dog out trick-or-treating with the kids, make sure to have them on a leash and under an adult’s control. Remember, if a dog gets loose, fights with another dog or snaps at a child, you’re responsible for your dog’s behavior. Also, make sure your pet is wearing a collar and ID tags with your phone number and address, and if your pet is microchipped make sure your information is up to date.

Lastly, make sure your pet's costume is free of toxic materials, only has small accessories and that your pet has enough room to move around. 

For more information about the how to create the best holiday environment for your four-legged friends, visit https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/.

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