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Tails of Seattle: A pets blog

Your local source for news and tips about dogs, cats and other critters, featuring fun videos, reader photos, Q&As and more.

October 27, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Photo call: Show us your pirate pugs and cat clowns!

Posted by Judy Averill

Thumbnail image for Fantasy_Fest.JPG
A Chihuahua dressed as a burro gazes at spectators during the Fantasy Fest Pet Masquerade at the Casa Marina in Key West, Fla. AP Photo by Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau

Halloween is still a few days away but we're already seeing some strange creatures creeping about. A giant bee with hound legs, a bulldog bride, ferrets in camouflage fatigues and a cat dressed as red riding hood.

OK, not every pet likes dressing up or even seeing strange costumes on others. Some pets find Halloween simply scary. If you have a pet that's overwhelmed by the commotion of Halloween, we have some tips for you at the end of this post.

If your pet likes the hoopla, we've listed a few events here.

Remember to snap a photo of your pet in costume or even just chillin' next to a pumpkin, and send it to our Seattle Times Pets Flickr account by following the instructions below. We'll feature a selection in an upcoming post.

Some guidelines:
- Please put a short title of the photo in the email subject line. (Example: Halloween Kitty clown, Halloween Frankenweenie, Halloween pug pirate. You get the idea.)
-In the body of the email, please include a very brief caption and your name (and the photographer's name, if different) so that we may properly credit the photo.
- Please attach only one picture per email.

Submissions are unpaid. Please see our Terms of Service, particularly the section under "License," about "user published content."
Email your photo now to petphotos@seattletimes.com.

Keep your pet safe

Seattle Animal Shelter and Seattle Humane Society remind animal owners and others that Halloween and the days around it can be frightening and even dangerous for pets. Here are a few tips for keeping your pet safe:

Take your pet indoors. Pets left outdoors around Halloween have been injured, teased, stolen and even killed by pranksters.

Only dress your pet if it likes costumes. The experience can be stressful, and even the sweetest pet can get snappy when upset. (A colorful bandana is an easy way to give your pet a festive look without causing stress.)

If your pet wears a costume, check for loose parts that may become tangled or get eaten. Also make sure your pet can move comfortably, hear and see clearly. Obstructed vision is another reason some pets nip or snarl.

Limit the time in the costume. Take a photo of the moment and then remove the costume so your pet can relax.

Watch out for dogs wagging tails and cats climbing around jack-o-lanterns or other decorations with candles. To prevent burns and fires, switch to battery-powered lights.

When visitors come knocking, keep your pet a way from the door. If you can't secure a dog in another room, keep a leash at hand. Having your dog on leash before you open the door will help keep it from bolting out or jumping on visitors.

Party at your house? Set up a quiet room in advance for just your pets. Stock it with some toys, a pet bed and a few other favorite items. Having a radio or TV on in the room may also help keep your pet calm.

Beware of people treats. Chocolate, gum and many of the other Halloween foods and wrappers can be hazardous to pets. See the Vet Q&A here for more details.

As a treat for you, here are links to a photo gallery of pets in costume and two stories about pet costumes:

Photo gallery

Pets join the parade of Halloween costumes

Halloween costumes are a howl for some dogs

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