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Local veterinarian shares safety tips for pet owners this Halloween

Pets can get spooked when strangers come to the door and Halloween candy is dangerous for your furry friends.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — We're in October, also known as "spooky season" and as we near Halloween, it can also be spooky for our pets.

A local veterinarian, Dr. Karen Sheppard, Director of Huntsville Animal Services, is sharing tips to keep our beloved furry friends safe.

"At my house when the doorbell rings, there is a lot of excitement. And so when you're opening and closing the door for trick or treaters, we put up a baby gate so that the dogs can't approach the door and no accidents happen because I don't want them running out and getting injured," Dr. Sheppard said.

Dr. Karen Sheppard with Huntsville Animal Services says when Halloween night creeps up and trick or treaters appear, pets tend to run towards the door or get spooked.

She suggests you make sure your pet is in a secure area: your backyard, a crate or behind a barrier like a baby gate.

"So that they can't sneak out the front door when you're giving out lots of treats and candy," Dr. Sheppard said.

And speaking of treats, Halloween candy is not meant for pets, "lots of dogs counter-surf, get on the kitchen table, and so if they do eat candy, it's always best to call your veterinarian or one of the national hotlines."

  • Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435 

According to American Veterinary Medical Association, raisins can cause a pet's kidney's to fail, and chocolate and gummies may contain substances that are toxic to your companion.

If your furry friend does accidentally eat candy, Dr. Sheppard has one trick that she suggests, "You can give them salt or hydrogen peroxide, and it'll make them vomit it, so it's not pleasant and it makes them really sad. And so you do want to check with your family veterinarian before you do that. "

And as your family dresses up for the 'spooktacular' evening, keeping your costumes and decorations away from your pet will reduce the risk of choking hazards.

But what if you want to dress your pet up for Halloween? 

Dr. Sheppard says some pets respond well to it, "just give them lots of treats and take all your good pictures."

Making sure they're use to a costume, it fits properly and doesn't block your pet's vision, hearing or breathing will ensure a happy and safe not so 'night of fright.'

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