Ease your your pet's stress on Halloween

Published10/30/2008 12:01 AM

Q. What can I do for my pet to ease the stress of Halloween? My poor dog gets as stressed out as he does from the fireworks on the Fourth of July?

-Greg Batwinski, Downers Grove


A. Greg, you pose a common question, and there are some simple solutions.

Dogs can really stress over the kids arriving at the door in costume. Many dogs show signs of stress even if their owner puts on a mask. To save them from having to determine who is friend and who is foe on Halloween, find them a quiet place in the house.

If the weather is nice enough, sit outside and hand out candy so the doorbell or constant knocking at the door isn't getting Fido up and on patrol wanting to run to the door every time a trick-or-treater comes your way.

If your dog suffers far more than the average dog, you may consult your veterinarian in advance of medicines available that will help your dog during this stressful time.

Other Halloween dangers you may not have thought of:

• Absolutely no chocolate for your dog - it is literally poison. (ASPCA poison control for pets (888) 426-4435)

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• Beware fire hazards and pets. Candles and fur don't mix well, plus they may knock candles over and cause more harm than just to themselves.

• Keep current identification tags on your pet because he may slip outside when you are opening or closing the door on Halloween.

Happy Halloween, and let's keep our pets away from the commotion and our kids safe.

• Kerry Vinkler is director of DuPage County Animal Care and Control. To submit a question, e-mail animalcontrol@Dupageco.org; mail to 120 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187; visit www.dupageco.org/animalcontrol; or call (630) 407-2800.

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