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Culture

Pet Owners Asked to be Vigilant During Trick-or-Treating

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This is Adira, who likes costumes and is licking her lips for treats. However, Halloween candy is unsafe for pets. Remember to

While Halloween is known for costumes, fun and candy, it can also lead to potential hazards.  Experts will often caution the dangers for children, but there are recommendations for pet owners as well. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more.

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/pet-owners-asked-be-vigilant-during-trick-or-treating_71035.mp3

Many pet owners like to dress up their four-legged friends in costumes and take them trick-or-treating along with the kids.  While some pets may enjoy this practice, others may not.  The ASPCA recommends owners use precautions when selecting pet costumes for comfort and safety.  They further recommend not dressing up the pet if it appears stressed or uneasy. 

Neighborhoods busy with trick-or-treaters can also lead to pets getting lost, stolen, or becoming the targets of pranks, says Latichia Duffy, owner and operator of Halfway Home animal rescue.  She recommends keeping pets indoors and safely away from the holiday commotion. 

“The biggest thing is that people are going to be opening and closing their front door all night long.  Make sure the animal is put away in a cage or crate or in a room separate from the door that is going to be opened and closed.  This is so the dog or cat doesn’t slip out of the house without you knowing.  Or that a child doesn’t stick their hand inside of a door and being bitten because they wanted to pet the dog,” says Duffy.

Duffy explains that easygoing pets that are not typically biters may do so out of stress and confusion.

Spokespersons with the Springfield Animal Control say that after hours, any reports of animal cruelty or animal bites can be reported by calling 911.

The American Red Cross also reminds parents and children to be careful around pets and other animals, plus offers other Halloween safety precautions.  Children should be accompanied by a parent or adult, wear light-colored or reflective clothing, use make-up instead of masks, carry a flashlight, only visit well-light homes and always accept treats at the door - never go inside.