Keep pets safe with tips from Family Fur Fun Festival

Halloween is around the corner, and it’s important to remember to keep four-legged family members safe, calm and healthy during the holiday. The upcoming free Family, Fur &Fun Festival is offering pet safety tips and will have additional care information at the event on Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and during its Halloween pet costume contest at Exploration Park at Mountain’s Edge.

While pets in costumes look cute, considerations include:

■ Make sure costumes fit properly and comfortably, don’t have pieces that can be easily chewed off and don’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing and ability to open its mouth or move.

■ Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while wearing a costume.

■ If you are dressing up, make sure to approach pets slowly to avoid bites as they may not recognize you.

Some additional Halloween-related precautions are:

■ Keep pets indoors in a separate room or behind a safety gate away from the door to make Halloween less stressful. In fact, keep cats, particularly black ones, inside during the month of October as some people think they are bad luck and may harm them.

■ Make sure Halloween candy is out of your pet’s reach. Candy containing chocolate or xylitol (commonly found in sugar-free candies and gum) is especially dangerous. Teach children that candy should not be shared with pets, nor should wrappers be left where pets can reach them.

■ Make sure pets are properly identified with a microchip in case they escape through an open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters.

• Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns away from pets or opt for battery-operated lights in your pumpkin.

With these costume tips in mind, attendees are invited to dress up their pets and enter the 1:30 p.m. contest for prizes covering Best in Show, Funniest Costume, Cutest Costume and Best Family (can include humans and/or multiple pets). Entry is $3 per category. Register by 1 p.m.

Other Family, Fur &Fun Festival festivities include a variety of fun, educational and interactive booths, including dog sport demonstrations by Atomic Dogs, pet adoption and fostering opportunities, arts and crafts, doggie photography, spay and neuter education, raffle with great prizes, music, food and refreshments and Chihuahua races from noon to 12:30 p.m. for $10. McGruff the Crime Dog also will be in attendance.

Event proceeds will benefit nonprofit animal rescue organizations, including Animal Help Alliance, Chi of Hearts, Churchill Foundation, Hearts Alive Village, Heaven Can Wait, Paws 4 Love, Street Dogz, Vegas Shepherd Rescue and Windy’s Ranch and Rescue.

The Family, Fur &Fun Festival is sponsored by Hanratty Law Group, Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center, Law Office of Donna Stidham, Mountain’s Edge, Pictographics, Centennial Toyota, Naylor and Braster Law Firm and Redfin.

Exploration Park is at 9700 S. Buffalo Drive, just south of Blue Diamond Road near the Mountain’s Edge main entrance. For information, visit, call 702-595-0644 or email

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