Halloween Hazards Part 2

Posted by Pia

HI EVERYONE! THIS IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF A POPULAR POST FROM LAST YEAR. ENJOY! -PIA

Last week I offered Part 1 of tips for handling Halloween Hazards- all tips begin with an "I" for "I'll keep you safe." This week's "I" tips are equally important and are specific to the eve of Halloween itself!

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Why not be your beloved furry family member this Halloween!
This is a great idea for kids- they get to dress up and act like their favorite fur friend!

1 Why not be your beloved furry family member this Halloween! This is a great idea for kids- they get to dress up and act like their favorite fur friend!

This year, Francesca and Sharkey had their pick of Martha's new PetSmart costumes. Here, Sharkey tries on a vampire outfit.

2 This year, Francesca and Sharkey had their pick of Martha's new PetSmart costumes. Here, Sharkey tries on a vampire outfit.

Francesca trying out a spider web costume this year

3 Francesca trying out a spider web costume this year

Sharkey checks out the ghost costume.

4 Sharkey checks out the ghost costume. "The shroud makes me look particularly eerie... I'm actually a little scared of myself!"

In the end, Francesca decided to go as -- what else? -- a fiendishly clever devil.

5 In the end, Francesca decided to go as -- what else? -- a fiendishly clever devil.

And Sharkey chose this glow-in-the-dark skeleton costume.

6 And Sharkey chose this glow-in-the-dark skeleton costume.

Martha wore a fabulous cat costume to the black-cat-themed Halloween show in Season 2 of

7 Martha wore a fabulous cat costume to the black-cat-themed Halloween show in Season 2 of "The Martha Stewart Show" in 2006. She sported a (faux) furry outfit and a collar. The set transformed into a giant house of cats with audience members -- and even Martha's dogs dressed as black cats!

Ghostly Equestrienne: With reddened eyes, a ghostly pallor, and her midnight steed Rutger by her side, Martha was instantly transformed into a haunted horsewoman for the cover of the 2009 Halloween issue.

8 Ghostly Equestrienne: With reddened eyes, a ghostly pallor, and her midnight steed Rutger by her side, Martha was instantly transformed into a haunted horsewoman for the cover of the 2009 Halloween issue.

Black Widow: Dressed as a Black Widow for the cover of the 2000 Halloween issue, Martha shows Halloween makeup at its most glamorous and spine-tingling. Her look, achieved with makeup techniques and prosthetic features, was topped off with a swarm of spiders and a set of menacing black nails.

9 Black Widow: Dressed as a Black Widow for the cover of the 2000 Halloween issue, Martha shows Halloween makeup at its most glamorous and spine-tingling. Her look, achieved with makeup techniques and prosthetic features, was topped off with a swarm of spiders and a set of menacing black nails.

Like mother, Like daughter....Last year, Francesca was a dramatic black widow spider like mom Martha had been years before!.

10 Like mother, Like daughter....Last year, Francesca was a dramatic black widow spider like mom Martha had been years before!.

Jane of the Jungle: For the very first Halloween special on

11 Jane of the Jungle: For the very first Halloween special on "The Martha Stewart Show" in 2005, Martha dressed up as Jane of the Jungle. Accompanied by a stuffed chimpanzee, she made a grand entrance by swinging on a vine to start the show. Martha has long been a fan of author Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan series.

Francesca went as a rather grumpy mouse one year.

12 Francesca went as a rather grumpy mouse one year.

while Sharkey went as a wolf... or something being eaten by a wolf?

13 while Sharkey went as a wolf... or something being eaten by a wolf?

Here Francesca models a crafty illuminated porcupine costume for Martha's show.

14 Here Francesca models a crafty illuminated porcupine costume for Martha's show.

And Sharkey was a glittering gray moth.

15 And Sharkey was a glittering gray moth.

I is for Indoors once again!
All companion animals should be kept securely indoors on Halloween. It is important to get animals inside while it is still light and to keep them in for the full night. Cats should definitely be secured indoors a few nights before Halloween.

With doorbells ringing, front doors and gates being opened by sticky little hands and strangers everywhere, it is essential that even the most obedient animals be secured in an area of the house that does not allow them to escape. It is far too tempting and the temptation alone can cause stress. All of the monster faces can also shake a companion animal's sense of security and illicit territorial reactions that are otherwise uncommon for that animal to exhibit. Our furry friends are naturally protective of their homes and they need not be subjected to the added stress of having to protect it or you.

Additionally, even though fireworks are illegal in many places, there is invariably a local 'Dennis the menace' lighting a few off which spooks even the most secure critter to run for cover.

While it may be fun to show a costumed Fido to trick-or-treaters -- it's simply not worth it as he may be spooked to nip or run. It's best to set up a comfy room, or gated area, for the fur kids- even crate them if they are used to this. Play the TV, radio, a white noise machine or better yet, play soothing music- they actually make some that is specifically for relaxing animals. Sometimes adding a scent like lavender in a safe manner (that cannot be ingested) can help calm nerves too.

Make sure cats have access to a clean litter pan and cannot get out of windows. Be sure to safeguard against any fire hazards like candles or electric lights that animals might chew when nervous. Check on them throughout the evening and be sure to leave safe toys or chews that keep them stimulated and distracted. Low light is soothing as well.

I for Ingesting:
This is a biggie. Halloween is full of hidden hazardous temptations. And many of the items an animal might ingest are far more toxic than one might realize.
Helping to avoid a potential ingestion, by not even having these items in the house, is the best bet- and being prepared with information on a local 24-hour emergency veterinarian is key. Time is of the essence if there is an accidental ingestion.

Some Halloween toxins to be aware of:
-Chocolate
-Raisins/Grapes
-Anything with Xylitol, an artificial sweetener in many gums, candies and baked goods, is extremely toxic
-Glow sticks and glow jewelry are very tempting for animals (especially cats) to chew on. They are toxic and unsafe to have around animals.
-Decorations and costumes that have materials like webbing or stockings can be hazardous and cause obstructions if swallowed.
-Candy wrappers are often eaten by companion animals and can cause serious problems.
-Any ingestion of a large amount of sugar can be dangerous to animals.

I know you all love your furry little goblins and want to keep them safe- so stay informed, be prepared and do your best to avoid being caught off guard!
...Boo!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Comments (6)

  • Good Morning Dr. Pia,
    Well, don't the girls look cute in all those creative costumes. Abd Martha, wow, I didn't recognize her in some of those pictures. Awesome.
    You are so thoughtful to tell us about the Halloween hazards. My mom said that is because you care so much about animals. So I hope all the humans read your blog and do what you say to keep their pets safe.
    It is raining here so I might as well go back to bed. Take a little snooze and hope the rain stops when I wake up otherwise it is going to be a lazy day for me.
    Love ya,
    Maddox

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. You really do have some good information on how to keep pets safe. I liked the pictures too. But where is GK? Maybe he is like me and doesn’t like to put on costumes; too hot for the long hair. Well it has stopped raining and I took my walk this morning. Everything is so green now. Too bad it will be turning brown soon. That only means one thing; the weather will be cooler and w… wi…, I can’t say it because those up north don‘t seem to like that word. But it is on it’s way. It’s nap time now.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Hi Dr. Pia,
    Thanks for all the good advice. My Mimi will not be home for Halloween, so I don't know what Papa & I will be doing. Maybe watch a spooky movie with the lights off and the jack-o-lantern glowing. oooooooh!
    It's raining at our house today, too Maddox. A nap sounds so nice.
    Do we have a new friend, Weezy C.? Hope so.
    Later,
    Rebel

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thanks so much for reposting this delightful, as well as serious, blog post from last year! I recall seeing all of it and certainly enjoy seeing and reading your important information about taking special care of our wonderful animals during Halloween time! I recall everyone of these wonderful photos of Franny, Sharkey, and Martha dressing up for Halloween several years ago-FANTASTIC!!! Handsome G.K. would just get too warm if he was having to wear a costume! Hope you have a delightful weekend and see you next Thursday! Jan

  • Such cute photos!!! ;)
    I dread Halloween or holidays that shoot off fireworks...my animals always suffer, especially the horses. I would go to the barn and they would be calm just by me being there. Our Maltese dog use to be so frightened it took months for recovery. We keep Kitty locked in the house for her safety.

    Great article...

  • ...yes, Halloween can be a bad time for us doggers, thank goodness our people are smarter than the average bear! (remember that saying?)..Yikes..I found more baby feral kitties..wow, Lucinda is going to be busy going to the vet with all these critters...it is a nice day..gentle breeze a good day to go sniff the air..over and out, cora-belle

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