Halloween has gone to the pets

October 29, 2013 

Guess what's this week? Do you know? Come on, guess, guess, guess.

Well, we all know one answer is hump day, but that is every week. What's special this week and only comes one time a year?

I will help you if you still don't know. The day after hump day is Thursday. This Thursday is Halloween. Halloween is a day for ghosts, goblins, ghouls, zombies, candy, tricks, treats and good old scary fun. Halloween can be fun for your dog or cat, too!

If you haven't seen the pet costumes this year, you have been missing out, but it's not too late. There are about as many for pets as for adults and children. I have seen everything from wigs, masks and hats to full body costumes, even some with capes and boots.

You could dress up your pet along with you and your children to stroll the neighborhood gathering tasty treats. If your pets do go with you, make sure they are held in your arms securely, have a good leash and collar, or even confined to a wagon or stroller. Your pet can enjoy the outdoors and be able to show off their custom duds. It's always important to carry a flashlight for safety when you know you will be out after dark. Don't forget the doggie bags too, for you know what.

Always be aware of your surroundings, watching out for any unforeseen surprises that could startle your pet, causing it to possibly get loose from you. You know there will be a lot of excitement and a whole new surrounding for your pet. Always be prepared. Your pet can have fun right with you, but depend upon you for keeping them safe.

Another important thing to have is your pet's license tag, attached securely to its collar, ensuring your pet will be able to get home to you if separated from you.

Now that the fun from collecting the tons of treats on the streets is over and everyone is back home safely, the family is dumping their hoards of sweet treats into a pile. Do you know where your pet is?

This is another part of Halloween where safety for your pet is important. Candy and other sweet treats are not good or healthy for your pet. Don't leave your candy unattended. No matter how bad it is for your pet, your pet will eat it anyway. How about having some special treats for your pet?

You could make some special homemade Halloween pet treats at the same time you are carving your pumpkin. Making treats will help your pet to not feel left out when Halloween night is here. You can find a lot of pet-friendly treat recipes on the internet. Just pick a couple and make an evening of pet treat baking fun.

So, are you ready for Halloween now?

Make sure to be prepared, be safe and always have fun. Your pet will thank you for including them and making them feel they were a part of it too. Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Our pets need your help. The shelter is full, so we are offering dogs and cats for adoption for only $15. If you have ever thought about a pet as part of your life, now is the time. Our web site mymanatee.org/pets has a wealth of information, including your new family member for adoption. Or call 941-742-5933 for information.

Kris Weiskopf, chief of Manatee County Animal Services, writes this weekly column in the Herald.

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