Atlanta, GA - With Halloween approaching, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin is providing tips for dog and cat owners to make the holiday safe and healthy for their four-legged friends.
· Keep your dog indoors, not in your yard, on Halloween. Pranksters may harass or harm pets. Trick-or-treaters may also provoke more barking.
· Cats should be kept inside all the time for their own safety and the safety of songbirds and wildlife. They should not be allowed to roam the streets and neighbors’ yards. Especially consider keeping black cats inside the week of Halloween. Some animal shelters make black cats unavailable for adoption at that time because of fears of abuse or because they feel some people may only want the cat for the holiday and abandon it afterwards.
· Keep your pet away from the door. Cats and dogs may run into the street, and dogs may feel the need to “protect” their owners.
· Keep candy away from pets. Dogs should especially not be given any food containing chocolate or raisins. If you want to give your pet a Halloween snack, pet stores have a wide selection of pet-friendly treats.
· Only dress up your pet if you know it likes to be dressed up. Costumes can be uncomfortable and harmful if chewed and ingested.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your dog or cat safe and healthy while you and family enjoy Halloween.
Another healthy choice for your dog or cat is spaying or neutering. This decreases their disease susceptibility and improves overall health. Spaying and neutering also saves tax dollars by reducing the population of unwanted cats and dogs that are euthanized every year. Georgians may support the state’s Dog and Cat Sterilization Program by purchasing any of the three special dog or cat license plates for their vehicles from county tag offices.
For more information on the healthy choice of spay/neuter and to find out how to receive a discount on your pet’s spay/neuter procedure through the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program, visit the Georgia Department of Agriculture website: www.agr.georgia.gov or call (404) 656-3667.