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Halloween: How to keep your pets safe on this spooky holiday

By Gary Bogue
Friday, October 29th, 2010 at 7:05 am in Halloween.

Jack-O-Lantern with bird design face by John (road kill) Osborn, Martinez, CA. More great Osborn designs at
pumpkinbird john osborn mtz

**NOTE: The Point Isabel Dog Owners group is sponsoring its free Barktoberfest Halloween event tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 30) at the west end of Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond, CA, from 1-3 p.m. People are invited to bring their costumed dogs for a short parade along S.F. Bay, followed by a costume contest with prizes donated by local dog-loving businesses. If it rains, the event’s tentative new date is Sunday (Oct. 31). You can check for details.

Spare Your Pet the Spooks this Halloween

Tips from The Humane Society of the United States for a Safe Holiday

While Halloween can be a good time for children and adults alike, The HSUS is reminding pet owners that this haunting holiday may be too scary for your pet. Companion animals aren’t used to all the doorbell-ringing, costumed creatures and general hustle-and-bustle that come into our homes at this time of year.

“For your pet’s comfort and safety, the best thing that you can do is to make sure that they have a stress-free holiday,” according to Adam Goldfarb, director of the Pets at Risk program for The Humane Society of the United States. “The noises, smells and people can be overwhelming for many pets on Halloween, so create a safe haven in one room of your home where he or she can quietly relax.”

Jack-O-Lantern with Bogey-Man face by John (road kill) Osborn, Martinez, CA. More great Osborn designs at
pumpkinbogeyman john osborn mtz

To help keep pets safe and happy this Halloween, The HSUS recommends the following tips:

** Keep your pets safely indoors, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities.

** Make sure that all of your pets are wearing tags with current ID. Opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters creates plenty of escape opportunities.

** Keep candy out of your pets’ reach. Chocolate and other ingredients can be toxic to them.

** Most pets are happiest wearing nothing but their birthday suit, but if you do choose a costume for your pet, forgo masks and make sure costumes are comfortable and do not pose a risk for injury.

** Decorations can be dangerous, so be sure to keep them safely away from pets. Candle flames can set fire to a pet’s fur. Hanging or dangling decorations can be an entanglement or choking hazard to some animals.

** Use fake cobwebs sparingly, if at all. Pets can choke on fake cobwebs set up indoors. Outdoors, fake webs may be a hazard to birds and wildlife.

** When going out trick-or-treating, leave your dog at home. Dogs can be easily excited by the Halloween commotion and a dog bite or lost dog will quickly end the evening’s fun.

*** NOTE: If your dog or cat accidentally eats any potentially harmful products and you need emergency advice, call your veterinarian, or the nearest Veterinary Emergency Clinic, or visit the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center website at

*** NOTE: John Osborn of Martinez, CA, the man who did the beautiful pumpkin carvings above is a local artist. To see more of John’s “zoomorphic (tessellating) art,” checkout his art website at I think you’ll like it. /Gary

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