Hi, you guys, this is Harriet Von Lupin reporting for The MonsterGrrls' 31 Days Of Halloween! Today I thought I would write about something that I think everyone should do on Halloween, and that's taking care of your pet! After all, your pet is probably a big part of your life, and since Halloween is such a groovy time of year, you should make sure that your pet can enjoy it too. (I especially can relate to animals, since I've got a little animal in me myself!)
One thing you should definitely not do on Halloween is share your Halloween candy with your pet. Chocolate is delicious to humans, and because of the half-human thing, us werewolves can enjoy it too. But pets can't. Chocolate is poisonous to your dog or cat, and tinfoil wrappers or cellophane wrappers (you know, that clear plastic stuff) can harm a pet if they swallow it. So get your dog or cat special treats for the Halloween season for their own trick-or-treat!
Another thing you should do is bring your pet inside on Halloween, and prepare for them to stay through the night, even if they're normally an outside pet. (Now I'm really serious about this, so listen.) Halloween is a cool holiday for normal people like you and me (well, you, anyway), but for animals it can be really dangerous. Pets often get teased, frightened, or even stolen on Halloween, and there are always reports of animals who get hurt or killed on Halloween (usually by stupid mean people, but sometimes by some Very Bad People who think Halloween's an excuse to hurt animals--grrrrr). So do the right thing and bring your pet inside, because I can tell you right now that people who hurt animals are not good and will never be my best friend. (Grrrr.) Make sure your pet's got proper identification too, like a tag on its collar, so if it does get out it can be easily found and returned. I'm not big on collars (and you can understand why), but an ID tag could save your pet's life.
If your pet stays inside anyway, make sure that they're in a safe place (like another room) while you've got trick-or-treaters coming to your door. All but the most social animals will be scared of a bunch of strange people going in and out, especially if they're wearing some kind of weird costume. In that kind of situation, a dog or cat can get really stressed out and feel protective of its owner, and may bite or hurt someone. So put them someplace where they know they will be safe. (This will also keep them from running out the door when trick-or-treaters are coming in and out of your house!) And something else: keep your pets away from lit pumpkins, candles, and electrical decoration stuff, especially those little kitties, 'cause they will be curious and might get hurt, catch a lethal shock, or even start a fire. (Even if you got a lot of Halloween candy and could share it with all the firemen and the EMT guys and the veterinarian, house fires and electric shocks are something you and your pets should avoid.)
Speaking of costumes... I know a lot of people may think it's really cute to dress their pet up in a little outfit. (That weird Jessica chick at my school comes to mind for some reason... seems like the kind of thing she would do, if she had a pet.) But your pet may not feel that way, so if it's going to make your pet feel weird, don't dress it up. If the pet's okay with it, don't dress it in a costume that's uncomfortable, or that'll, um, what's that word... oh yeah, obstruct its vision, hearing or movement, because a pet that can't see, hear or move around is not a happy pet. (After all, think how you'd feel if someone put you in a weird mask and outfit. Yeah, I know you're dressing up, but that's different.) Check the costume for parts the pet could chew off and choke on, and dangly stuff they could trip on. (A leg cast isn't a cool look for Halloween. Hey, maybe I should do some fashion news stuff...)
And just so you know, I'm not making any of this up. The Humane Society, which protects all animals everywhere (except for werewolves, but hey, we can take care of ourselves in a pinch), has all this information and more at their website, so click on this link to find out more about making Halloween a cool time for your pet! And tell 'em the MonsterGrrls sent you!
And one more thing before I go. October's the month with the Ghost Wonderful Time Of The Year (as our Mad Doctor says), but it's also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. According to the guys from the American Cancer Society, it was estimated that about 178,480 women in the United States would be found to have invasive breast cancer in 2007. About 40,460 women will die from the disease this year. Right now there are slightly over 2 million women living in the United States who have been treated for breast cancer. That's an awful lot of people who are somebody's mom, or sister, or aunt, or wife, or maybe just a best friend.
The other MonsterGrrls and I are all wearing this pink ribbon thing (as you can see in my picture above) to show our support for breast cancer research so that a cure can be found. We want all you guys reading this to have a lot of good Halloween memories to come, so show your support too. You can find more information on this at nbcam.org, and the American Cancer Society has more information here.
See you next time, and Happy Halloween! ARRROOOOOOOO!!!
Harriet Von Lupin
(MAD DOCTOR'S NOTE: Harriet really isn't kidding about protecting pets on Halloween. If you should be out pranking someone's dog on Halloween night and suddenly hear a deep growl behind you and find your formerly pleasant evening full of spectacular incident... don't say we didn't warn you. --M.D.)