Halloween monsters at your door,
Turkey bones on the floor,
Holiday gifts, chocolates too,
New Year’s fireworks and jolly brew.
These things may scare or sicken pets,
And cause a visit to the vet’s.
So, keep your critters safe and calm,
A quiet room, soft music on.
Halloween marks the beginning of our holiday season. To keep your pets safe, be sure to follow these guidelines.
* Visitors: People entering and leaving your house create a lot of excitement, so be sure your pets always have a quiet, secure place where they can escape the commotion. Play calm music softly to diffuse outside sounds and reduce anxiety.
Halloween is probably the most stressful time for pets with many noisy strangers in scary outfits ringing your doorbell. Loud celebratory New Year’s Eve activities and fireworks are also stressful. Just having people coming and going can create stress as well as opportunities to run out open doors.
* Food: Avoid digestive problems caused by fatty, rich or new foods. Bones and candy, especially chocolate, can be deadly. Provide healthy pet treats or put a little peanut butter in a “food carrier” toy for a long-lasting culinary delight. Pumpkin is good for dogs and cats. If your Jack-o-lantern is fresh, cut it up and cook it to provide your pet with a nutritious dietary supplement.
* Decorations: Pet costumes can be cute but be sure that they fit, don’t hamper movement, and that your pet is comfortable. Always monitor your pet when it is wearing a costume. Dangling ornaments, gift ribbon and paper, electric cords, open flames from candles or lanterns may attract curious pets with disastrous consequences.
* Plants: Keep toxic plants such as ivy, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies out of pet reach. For a list of poisons and how to poison-proof your home, go to www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control.
* Reduce stress. An extra walk with your dog can relax you and your dog. Keep your veterinarian’s number handy. The Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680 or www.petpoisonhelpline.com) provides 24/7 advice at $39 per incident. Finally, remember ID tags and microchips. Up-to-date and easy-to-read ID tags on a collar and a microchip help lost pets get home quickly.
Happy Tails: Edie and Jack Anderson have always had a soft spot in their hearts for all kinds of animals — dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, horses. This summer, they had two cats but no dog when Edie saw a photo of a little white and tan dog needing a home in The Davis Enterprise. “Joy” was at Rotts of Friends Animal Rescue in Woodland.
Edie writes, “I did see Joy’s picture in The Enterprise and thought I would just go and look but she came right up to me so I brought her home that day. Her name was Joy and she is really a joy.” Little Joy is now happily ensconced in the Anderson household.
— Evelyn Dale of Davis is a volunteer and advocate for shelter animal welfare; her column is published monthly. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org