Nestlé Purina PetCare

Nestlé Purina PetCare

October 26, 2006 08:45 ET

Halloween Safety for Your Four-Legged Friend

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 26, 2006) -

ATTENTION LIFESTYLE EDITORS / REPORTERS

Safety is top of mind for families preparing for Halloween this year. For pets, who are often an important part of the family, October 31st can indeed be the scariest night of the year.

Over half of Canadian households have a dog or cat. With Halloween fast approaching, Nestle Purina PetCare, makers of leading pet food brands and treats, reminds consumers that pet safety should be a priority.

According to a Nestle Purina poll of 2,652 pet owners(i), nearly one in ten Canadian pet owners dress up their pet for Halloween. Whether their pet is in costume or not, nearly 20% of owners' pets help when giving out the Halloween candy.

"With dogs and cats playing such an important role in the family, it is no surprise that pets are an active part of the Halloween season," says David Connor, Business Development Manager, Nestle Purina PetCare. "At Purina, we work hard to understand pet nutrition and pet behaviour, especially as it relates to your family."

While your pet may take a keen interest in your household's Halloween festivities, the season often features weird music, costumed strangers, and lots of excitement. All of which present a few Halloween obstacles for even the most well-intentioned families. To help keep pets safe this Halloween, here are a few tips:

- Because pets can't talk, it is often difficult to know if they are frightened or bothered. Opening and closing your front door alone can be stressful for both cats and dogs. Keep your pet in a room far from the front door if he/she is bothered.

- Before Trick-and-Treaters visit this Halloween, walk your dog and prepare your home for visitors. Place a children's gate in front of your door to prevent your cat or dog from running out. If this is not available, place your dog on a leash.

- Pets, like people, may be tempted by Halloween goodies. Keep candy where your dog or cat can't get to it. In the case of chocolate goodies, beware. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs. Give your pet a dog or cat treat instead, such as Beggin' Strips for dogs and Luv for cats. Your pet will love it.

- For those interested in dressing their pet up in a costume, make sure your furry friend is as excited as you are - you would not want to cause discomfort or stress. Ensure eyeholes are big enough for pets to see, and he/she can easily breathe and hear. Animals rely on their senses to understand their environment and any obstruction may make for an annoyed cat or dog.

When it's Trick or Treat time, pets often prefer a quiet room and a favourite toy. Most organizations advise that you keep cats indoors at all times to avoid pranksters. For dogs, a great long chew treat such as Busy Bone can help keep him occupied and rewarded. Don't forget to also treat your cat for their outstanding behaviour on Halloween night.

(i) ABOUT THE STUDY:

These are the findings of a Nestle Purina poll conducted between September 21 and October 5, 2006. For the survey, invitations were sent to Canadian pet owners 18 years of age or older, resulting in 2,652 completed online interviews. With a sample of this size, the results are considered 95% accurate, within +/-2 percentage points.

ABOUT NESTLE PURINA PETCARE:

At Nestle Purina PetCare Canada, our commitment to pets and their owners is reflected in our corporate promise, "Your Pet, Our Passion." For over 80 years, Purina has dedicated itself to creating innovative, nutritious products including leading brands such as Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Purina Pro Plan, Beneful, and Friskies. Purina is the number one dog treat manufacturer with the number one dog treat in Canada - Beggin Strips. The Purina portfolio of treats includes Busy Bone, Begging Strips and T-Bonz brand dog treats, as well as Luv brand cat treats.

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