STOUFFVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 28, 2016) - Halloween is a fun time to dress up, indulge in candy and enjoy the festivities, but don't forget about the safety of your pets, who can get sick from eating candy or decorations and may be frightened by costumed visitors.

Before you find yourself in a frightful situation this Hallows' Eve, follow these simple tips to keep your furry family members safe:

  • Keep candy out of reach. Chocolate is particularly poisonous, but raw sugar, or sugar substitutes like xylitol can also be dangerous for pets.
  • Throw away candy wrappers immediately, as packaging can also be hazardous and could lead to choking.
  • Place Halloween decorations out of reach. Things such as corn stocks or dried gourds can cause digestive problems if ingested, potentially leading to blockages that require surgery to remove.
  • Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets.
  • Exercise caution with jack-o'-lanterns as pets can easily knock them over and cause a fire if real candles are used.
  • Excited children wearing masks or long costumes could inadvertently step on your pet's paws or tail, so keep an eye on both your two and four-legged family members.
  • If you plan on dressing up your pet, test how it will react to a costume a few days in advance by clipping together something like a bath towel over its back, then test the costume. Never keep a costume on for extended periods of time, and be sure to frequently check that it fits correctly and doesn't restrict breathing, movement or your pet's ability to go to the bathroom.
  • If you decide to bring your pet outside, consider how your pet normally reacts to strangers. If you have any doubt about how they will act around strangers dressed in costumes, consider leaving them at home and taking a family photo at the end of the evening when the excitement has died down.
  • If you will be welcoming trick-or-treaters to your home, it's best to relocate animals to a quiet room with a TV or radio turned on low to distract them, which will reduce stress for everyone and prevent your pet from darting out the door.
  • Make sure your pet has proper ID. If your pet does escape and becomes lost, it will help ensure you are reunited with your pet.

"The last thing any pet owner wants on Halloween is a pet who is sick from eating something they shouldn't have, or agitated because of costumed strangers," says Tanya Firmage, Chief of Humane Programs and Community Outreach, Ontario SPCA. "Keeping in mind simple pet safety tips will help ensure your pet has a great Halloween, too."

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities.

Since 1919, when Ontario's first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.

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Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002

Contact Information:

Melissa Kosowan
Ontario SPCA