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Let Halloween Be a Boo-tiful Time for Pets

Halloween is a great time for thrills, chills and ghoulish fun. But for pets and their owners, this celebration can be scary, harmful and hazardous.

We all want to share everything with our pets, but this is one time that we should take measures to secure our pets from the festivities.

Pet owners should remember the following when planning their Halloween activities.

* Candy treats are great for kids (and grown-ups), but not dogs and cats. Sugary foods are unhealthy for most animals and their wrappers are a hazardous as well. Chocolate, even small amounts can be poisonous. Keep all of your treats well out of reach of your pets. Give your dog or cat a special goody made just for them.
* Get creative with costumes for yourself, not your pets. Unless you know that your dog or cat really enjoys dressing up, donít do it. Sure, itís 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 animalís view is not obstructed.
* Keep pets inside on Halloween and Mischief Night. Vicious pranksters have been known to abuse, harm and even kill animals in ďcelebrationĒ of these two nights. Keep your outside cats inside for a few days. Black cats are particularly preyed upon during this time of year.
* 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.
* Keep pets away from trick-or-treaters. Itís best to keep your pets in a secured separate room with food and water during trick-or-treat time. Even the mellowest animals can get spooked by the large number of visitors, causing them to attack or try to run away. The same is true if you have a party.
* Make sure your dog or cat is wearing proper identification. 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 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 Societiesí four shelters in Forked River, Tinton Falls and Newark and Union. To learn more or see some of the animals looking for new homes you can visit them on Petfinder


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