Things that go bump in the night shouldn’t include your pets, so follow a few simple tips to make sure Howl-o-ween won’t be scary or dangerous for canines or felines!


PREVENT A HOUDINI ACT by knowing where your pets are at all times. Walk them before dark and do not, I repeat do not take them Trick or Treating. Many dogs get scared by the shrieks of ghosts & goblins on the streets or coming to their doors and dart in the path of cars. Hoods, masks and capes change the shape of the human figure and can be intimidating to our canine pals, just like uniforms and caps on postal workers and city service people who visit our homes do.  Keep pets in a quiet back room, a quiet space to call their own, or…if you are answering the door for candy-seeking goblins and have a well-socialized dog, keep him on leash safety at your side to greet the doorbell ringers.  Should you be spending the evening out at a ghoulish event for humans, have a friend or professional pet sitter stay with skiddish pets in the event “boos” and other scary sounds might catch a feline or canine ear.


AVOID THE KISS OF DEATH by keeping paws and claws off deadly candy.  Wrappers (believe it or not, pets don’t take off the cellophane or foil coverings) can cause intestinal blockages while chocolate can prove fatal to dogs, cats and ferrets. One ounce of milk chocolate per your pet’s body weight can be deadly, and there is no specific anti-dote for chocolate toxicity, so keep your furry kids out of harm’s way and learn pet first aid just in case the worst happens!


If you’re considering making creepy treats for a holiday party adorned with grapes or raisins masquerading as “eyeballs,” take precautions so that your pets do not ingest them.  Both grapes and raisins have been known to cause renal failure in our pets, whether they consume grapes over many years or get a handful at once.  Keep plastic toothpicks that adorn festive cupcakes or are used in hors d’oeuvres out of reach as well.


ELECTRIFYING THINGS such as electric cords used for motorized moans, groans and other décor should be taped down so that pets won’t trip or become entangled in the.  Do not allow puppies, kittens or any pet with a chewing habit in rooms with plugged in wires.  Do your doggone best to keep candles, such as the one haunting the family jack o’ lantern, out of paws and claws reach or consider using a battery operated candle instead – just make sure that too will not be consumed.  As for fake spider webs and spray string…these are also dangerous to our pets if caught on their coats or consumed.  Their ingredients can burn, choke or poison our best friends.



Unless Fluff y or Fido is truly comfortable in a costume, their own furry birthday suit might be a better choice. A festive bandana on your dog could fit the bill. Pets aren’t used to wearing elastic and definitely don’t like masks covering their eyes or nose, while others seem to tolerate “dress up” very well. Just in that case make sure the costume doesn’t have beads, sequins or strings which they may chew off and consume, and never, ever leave your pet unattended in a costume!


EVIL LURKS IN THE NIGHT, and some people, taking advantage of the anonymity of costumes, partake in malicious pranks targeting black cats, dogs and other animals. Please bring all pets, even those who regularly sleep under the stars, in on Halloween night and several days before and after for safety sake.  If you see anything suspicious regarding the treatment of an animal, immediately call your local animal control or police department, and check to see if your city has its own animal cruelty task force.


Finally, realize that September and October can still be very HOT in some locales, so be sure to provide plenty of shade and water for pets.  Never leave them unattended in a parked car and be certain that kennels, pet carriers and even rooms in your house are cool with good ventilation for your pets.



For 16 years Denise Fleck’s Sunny-dog Ink motto has been “Helping people to help their pets,” and she has…teaching more than 10,000 pet lovers animal life-saving skills and millions more on national television segments, yet better pet parenting is still a secret in many communities.  In the Spring of 2017, in her role as Pet Safety Crusader™, Denise will journey across the Southern U.S. to “Be the one who makes a difference” by helping large numbers of people help their pets in one concerted effort!  Pet First Aid classes, Pet Disaster Preparedness training and readings of her children’s books will be part of the fun as she travels 10,000 miles to 18 cities — from California to Florida, north to Virginia, across to Tennessee, down to Arkansas and back across the Southwest.  Super hero sponsors are needed to be the ‘wheels beneath her RV.’ Learn more about this epic adventure, Denise’s line of Pet First-Aid Kits, books and instructional posters at