Editor's Note: The following information is from the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control. Some additional information has been added by the site editor.
The County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control would like to remind pet owners that although Halloween may be a fun holiday for humans, it can be a potentially dangerous and frightening time for your four-legged family members.
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. Ensure that your pets can’t bolt outside when you open the door to pass out candy.
* Always keep your pet’s license current. A current license and ID tag should be securely affixed to your pet’s collar. A license tag and a microchip 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 to 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. Candy with raisins should especially be avoided, as raisins (and grapes) can cause kidney failure in dogs.
* Properly dispose of all candy wrappers. Tinfoil and cellophane candy wrappers are tempting treats for pets and can cause pets to choke or to 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. Pet costumes should not have small or dangling accessories that can be swallowed by your pet.
* If your pet does become lost, it is critical that you physically visit the animal shelters surrounding your area. Be sure to bring a photograph of your missing pet to post at your local shelter.
For more information, contact your local animal shelter or visit animalcare.lacounty.gov.