It is almost Halloween ~ frighteningly fun for adults and children alike! For dogs like me, sometimes it is just plain frightening. Here are some helpful hints for my canine and feline friends as well as our human caretakers.

If you are thinking that your favorite fido or feline companion might look smart in a costume here are some things to think about. Some small and toy breeds (dogs I refer to as “snack dogs”) are used to wearing clothing and probably do not mind dressing up. Most dogs and especially cats are not used to wearing clothing or anything on their feet. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals warns that “costumes should not limit an animal’s movement, hearing, sight or ability to breathe, bark, eat, drink or eliminate. And watch for choking hazards.” It is also important to remember that common Halloween treats are toxic to dogs and cats: chocolate, raisins macadamia nuts and XYLITOL (the sweetener used in candy, baking and sugar free gum). Do not leave those treat sacks on the counter or close to where your canine and feline pals can get them. Noises and costumes, screams and squeals may scare us. Keep us in a calm place when goblins are trick or treating at your house.

Now you humans have a whole different set of DO’S and DON’T’S for costumes at work. First, DO make sure it is OK to dress up in the first place. Nothing worse than showing up for work and being the only one dressed up. DO make sure people know that it is optional. Some people do not like to dress up or do not believe in celebrating Halloween. DO NOT make people uncomfortable! DO NOT wear something revealing, sexy, gory or offensive. DO NOT make fun of anyone’s religion or political beliefs! DO consider group costumes. It gives people who might otherwise not dress up the chance to participate. DO stay current, if it is old news then it is boring. DO try to involve everyone – make it a party, decorate your workspace have a contest!

For after hours, a survey reveals the top costumes this year are pregnant Bella from the soon to be released  “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -Part 1” and Captain Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean’s”.

Remember the things that go bump in the night may make us animals and people act out of character. Remember these DOs and DON’Ts and everyone will have fun!

Happy Howl~loween!