The thought of a zombie takeover might be great fun for humans to contemplate during the Halloween season. But can you imagine an animal’s fear if a member of the walking undead lurches up to the front door and starts shouting for treats?
If your dog displays any signs of stress, including: pacing, lip licking, yawning, panting, trembling, tail tucking and avoidance behavior, please find them a safe haven where they will feel protected from the boogeyman.
The National Retail Federation estimates that approximately 22 million pet owners will include their pets in their Halloween festivities, and overall, will spend approximately $330 million on outfitting their pets in costumes.
Do your pets a favor. If they appear uncomfortable with your Halloween “spirit,” please refrain from making them part of your holiday decor.
But if you are the owner of party animals, enjoy their participation in your holiday plans like Amanda Dolan of Green did with her two rescued Labrador retriever-mixed dogs she dressed as zombies for the camera.
Two-year-old Maverick and house mate, Spencer, who is a year younger, are the winners of a Paws and Prayers pet rescue Internet contest to find the best-dressed zombie canines for this story. Dolan and her family adopted both dogs from the rescue group. Spencer, who lost a leg in a car accident before he was placed for adoption, was initially a reluctant participant, according to his owner.
“Maverick embraced his zombie-ness with no problem. Spencer was less than thrilled at first to be pretending to be undead, but eventually came around,” said Dolan.
Prepping for a zombie apocalypse may sound silly, but in the event any major disaster befalls your family, you should have a plan in place to take care of all the creatures in your home, be they people or pets.
The American Red Cross suggests you always make contingency plans for your pets before a disaster happens. Never stay behind during an emergency to be with your pets and don’t leave them if you must leave your home. Find a safe place in advance for your pets to stay during an emergency such as pet-friendly hotels, relatives’ homes or a boarding facility.
Keep your pet’s essential supplies in sturdy containers that can be easily accessed and carried (a duffle bag or covered trash containers, for example).
Your pet emergency preparedness kit should include:
• Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a first aid kit.
• Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape.
• Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
• Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan and a manual can opener.
• Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
• Pet bed or toys if easily transportable.
Additionally, make sure you keep your pets away from Halloween candy. According to Petplan pet insurance, Halloween is one of the most dangerous times of the year for pets. According to their claims data from 2010-2012, pets are 25 percent more likely to get sick due to eating chocolate during Halloween week than other weeks throughout the year.
The average veterinary cost for treating chocolate ingestion is $377. Petplan reports that one family faced a veterinary bill of more than $3,000.
Now, that’s scary!
Other animals in the news:
National Pit Bull Awareness Day and Adopt-A-Thon — PAWSibilities, Humane Society of Greater Akron will hold an educational day and adopt-a-thon from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 26 at 7996 Darrow Road, Twinsburg. There are several pit bulls at the shelter available. Adoption fees for dogs between the ages of 6 months and 6 years will be $55 and senior canines will be $40. Cats over the age of 6 months are $5. All adoptions are granted upon application approval. All animals will be spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccines, micro-chipped and include a 30-day free trial of pet insurance through 24PetWatch. There will be raffles, refreshments and educational activities on pit bulls to dismiss the many misconceptions about the breed. More information at www.summithumane.org.
Cabin Fever Cure — Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, is reducing admission prices and providing free heated transportation between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily Nov. 1 through March 31, 2014. Admission is $8.25, $5.25 for kids ages 2-11 and free to children younger than 2.
Low-cost rabies vaccines — Summit County Public Health is offering low-cost rabies vaccinations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Green Recycling Center, 5383 Massillon Road. Pet Guards will administer the vaccination for dogs and cats for $8 per animal. For more information, call 330-926-5600.
Kathy Antoniotti writes about pets for the Akron Beacon Journal. She is unable to help locate, place or provide medical attention for an individual animal. If you have an idea or question about pets, write her at the Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640; call 330-996-3565; or send an email to email@example.com.