Halloween isn't always a treat for pets

DOWNEY - The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control is reminding pet owners that although Halloween may be a fun holiday for humans, it can be a potentially dangerous and frightening time for pets.Here are a few tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween: Keep pets indoors in a secure, comfortable area with a radio or television playing in the background. Many pets fear the noises of trick-or-treaters. Always keep current license and ID tags securely affixed to your pet's collar. A license tag is the only voice a pet has if he or she becomes lost. Do not leave pets outside unattended. Loud noises frighten pets and they may panic, become confused and go through great lengths to escape their enclosures. Keep pets away from all candy. Chocolate, which contains theobromine, can be poisonous to pets, causing nerve damage and even death. Properly dispose of all candy wrappers. Tinfoil and cellophane candy wrappers are tempting treats for pets and can cause pets to choke or have intestinal blocks. Keep pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns away from pets. Pets can easily knock them over, which could result in a burn. Halloween pet costumes can pose safety hazards for pets. Do not dress your pet up unless he or she is used to it. Make sure the costume does not restrict their movement, vision, hearing or the ability to breathe or bark. Halloween pet costumes should not have small or dangling accessories that can be swallowed by your pet. Post the numbers of emergency clinics as well as the number of your local animal control agency on your refrigerator or another location where you can easily find them in case of an emergency. If you pet does become lost, it is critical that you visit the animal shelters surrounding your area. Shelter staff and volunteers will also provide suggestions for finding lost pets. Be sure to bring a photograph of your missing pet to post at your local shelter. For more information, visit www.animalcare.lacounty.gov.

********** Published: October 28, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 28