SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It’s the time of year to put your favorite costumes on to head out into the night. For some, they’ll be dressing up their pets. But animal safety officials recommend using some caution this Halloween.
“Dogs can easily overheat or dogs can feel strangled in their costumes sometimes,” says Callista Pearson with Salt Lake County Animal Services.
Pearson says to try your dog’s costume on before the big night, reinforce positive behavior with treats, and make sure there isn’t anything they can choke on while wearing it.
“If your dog seems uncomfortable and doesn’t want to wear the costume, don’t force it,” she says.
Plus, there are always concerns about kids in costumes and pets.
“I would not let my child run up to a dog they do not know in their costumes. So, I strongly recommend that because you never want a dog to have a bad reaction,” says Pearson. “As a parent or not a parent, don’t let a child run up to a dog that they don’t know. Especially, when they are in costume because it is already scary having a stranger come up, but a stranger in a costume and some of these costumes this year are pretty amazing that I’ve seen.”
Emergency room vets will be on staff this weekend prepared for those animals who eat Xylitol or sugar-free candy, chocolate, and medical marijuana edibles.
“Depending on the size of your dog and when they inject something whether it’s marijuana, chocolate, or whatever you know, small dogs that can be highly toxic and dangerous too,” she says. “Larger dogs, it may not have the same impact on, but you would never want to risk your best friend’s life for a bag of chocolate”
For those anxious pets, officials recommend keeping them in a back room. That way, they don’t get triggered and run out the door.
“Never assume a pet is an unwanted pet. There is a lot of people that will find a lost pet and keep them for months and take them to the vet, they will be scanned for a microchip, and then they will find out they have an owner and be reunited later on,” says Pearson.
To make sure your pet gets back to you, put their collars on with updated tags. If you don’t have enough time to do that, Pearson says to write your address and phone number on ducktape and put it on their collar so people have a person or goblin to call.