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Pet Safety Tips this Halloween

Halloween is just a few short days away – which means pumpkins, candy, costumes and all things spooky! As exciting as Halloween in Kansas City can be, it’s also a time of caution for pet owners – black cat owners specifically.

Not only are black cats often associated with dark forces, but many end up missing on Halloween night due to pranks and other unspeakable reasons. Did you know the majority of shelters don’t even adopt out black cats during the entire month of October for their safety?


To ensure both your family and pets enjoy a fun and safe Halloween this year, please remember the following tips:

Keep Your Pet Safely Indoors

Animals can easily become anxious when children are constantly ringing your doorbell while wearing strange costumes and yelling, “Trick or treat!” Keep your pet in their own safe haven for the evening – a pet carrier or a closed room are a couple of options. Not only does keeping your pet in a safe place help calm nerves, but it also eliminates the risk of your pet running away with the constant opening and closing of the front door. As an additional precaution, always make sure your furry companions are wearing identification!

Save the Candy for The Humans

One of the biggest hazards to furry family members during Halloween is candy. Chocolate is especially toxic to both cats and dogs. Be aware of candy wrappers as well – ingesting wrappers can cause choking or even life-threatening bowel obstruction. Keep candy in secure containers in an area your animal companions cannot gain access to. If you have reason to believe your pet has ingested something toxic, contact the Pet Poison Helpline immediately!

Halloween Costumes 

Who doesn’t love an adorable pet dressed in an even more adorable Halloween costume?! As exciting as dressing your pet for the day can be, it is important to make sure your animal is safe. Use non-flammable and non-toxic items that your pet is comfortable in. Also, make sure the costume doesn’t restrict your animal’s movement, breathing or vision.

Choose Your Decorations Carefully

Decorations pose a threat to not only cats, but all animals. Keep your four-legged friends away from jack-o-lanterns, candles, balloons and any other decorations they could ingest, become tangled in or be injured by.


After the commotion of Halloween begins to die down and you’ve put all potentially hazardous items away, give your cat (or dog!) a belly rub for putting up with all the loud, strange humans that come out on Halloween! Moving forward, it is important to remember cats are safer living indoors. After all, knowing your beloved pet is safe and happy is the best treat you can give yourself this Halloween season!

Keep your Dog Calm on Halloween

Halloween is only a few days away so it’s time to make plans for your furry friends! TheBark.com had some great ideas to keep your fur babies safe and sound.

Halloween offers a very specific opportunity to protect your dog with a commitment to preventing trouble. Between the doorbell and the monsters (literally!) at the door, the night is far more trick-y than treat-y for most of our beloved canines. Many of them react with fear, excessive exuberance or even aggression.

Since this holiday happens only once a year, it’s hard to give dogs practice with the situations unique to it. Jumping up too far in the process can be damaging to dogs and actually set them back. Avoidance is a good route to go sometimes. This may mean staying in the back room with your dog while another member of the household answers the door and passes out candy. It may mean having your dog spend the evening visiting a friend who gets no visitors on Halloween. Another option is to put candy out on your porch with a note saying, “Take a piece of candy to save my shy dog from listening to the doorbell ring.” If you really want to go to extremes, you can turn your lights out, draw the shades, and pretend you’re not home. None of these options are ideal, but they all have the advantage of protecting your dog from getting overly excited or spooked this Halloween and exhibiting undesirable behavior as a result.

Life can be hard, and for many dogs, that is especially true on Halloween. Let’s not miss out on opportunities to make it easier when we can.

Join the Barkery for safe  Trick-or-Treating on Halloween from 3:00-5:00pm!

10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let’s face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips. From Pet MD.

1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.

All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.

Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.

3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.

Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.

4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.

Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.

Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …

6. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.

Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.

If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

8. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.2015-10-08_1029

If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.

9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.

If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.

10. IDs, please!

If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.