Some Tips For Keeping Animals Safe During Halloween Festivities Entertainment / Life


Halloween is big business in my neighborhood – kids, golf carts, and hay rides are traditionally plentiful on every street. Even with the damage caused by Hurricane Ida, I think this year will be particularly busy as people are eager to get back to normalcy and have some fun.

While most people appreciate all that Halloween brings, our pets may not be fans of the festivities. Plus, it’s not necessarily the best activity to include pets. Here are some simple tips to protect our furry friends among ghosts and goblins:

LEAVE THE ANIMALS AT HOME: I cannot stress this enough. Going with the family on a sleight of hand can make pets nervous and irritable. Large crowds of screaming kids scurrying over don’t make a calm, relaxed pet. If a dog is protective, he may perceive other people on the street as threats to his family and may lash out at someone, especially if he is in disguise. It is also difficult to watch for fallen candy that a dog may sniff and consume – a dangerous circumstance, especially in the dark.

KEEP ANIMALS INSIDE: Pets may not be used to all the extra traffic and activity. Additionally, some may be tempted to taunt a pet in a yard, even a fenced yard. Candy or items can be thrown at pets, and black dogs and cats are often targeted during Halloween. For the safety of the animal, keep it locked up or indoors during treat hours. If you must take your pet out, make sure it is kept on a leash at all times or supervised if it is in a fenced yard.

KEEP AWAY FROM THE ENTRY DOOR: Groups of children running around, ringing the doorbell and screaming “candy or spell” can be scary for pets, especially dogs and cats who are already shy or nervous and are not used to visitors. . Pets may also try to escape through the door. Put up a barrier or keep them in a room in another part of the house, safe and free from the temptation to welcome visitors or guard their families.

CANDY CAN BE DANGEROUS: Chocolate is a big no-no for pets, and many other Halloween treats, such as sugarless candy, contain xylitol, which can cause liver failure in pets. Many have asked me why chocolate is bad. Although not always fatal, consuming chocolate can lead to serious illnesses for cats and dogs.

It contains a chemical called theobromine, as well as caffeine. Dogs cannot metabolize theobromine and caffeine like humans. This makes them more sensitive to the effects of chemicals. The amount of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate. The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs.

Baking chocolate and gourmet dark chocolates are highly concentrated and contain 130 to 450 mg of theobromine per ounce, while regular milk chocolate has about 44 to 58 mg per ounce.

Signs of chocolate poisoning can take several hours to develop and can last for days. They can include vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, and increased heart rate. In severe cases, muscle tremors, seizures and heart failure can occur. It is important to contact a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate.

To avoid a possible medical emergency, make sure children don’t try to share their candy with animals in the days after Halloween.

COSTUMES ARE OPTIONAL: As cute as it may sound, dressing our pets in costumes can be very stressful, impair vision, restrict walking, and cause unwanted reactions. If the family animal is used to dressing up, it can be an exception to this rule, but in general, animals do not have fun playing dress up!


SATURDAY: PetSmart Dog and Cat Adoption Event, hosted by Rolling River Rescue from 10 am to 4 pm at PetSmart, 1000 S. Clearview Parkway in Harahan. Meet adoptable dogs from Rolling River, Greta’s Ark Animal Rescue, and Take Paws Rescue, as well as adoptable cats through the Spaymart Kitten Foster program. Donations of lightly used items, food and monetary donations for hospitality and medical expenses will also be accepted. For more information, send an email to

Traci D. Howerton is the Volunteer Coordinator for Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO), a non-profit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. For topic suggestions, email or for more information about ARNO, visit

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