Halloween is a time for kids to get dressed up as their favorite princess or scariest character and go out to collect candy from neighbours and friends. This cherished holiday, by kids and adults alike, can lead to a night full of sugar, fun, and memories. Costumes, forbidden treats, scary sights, and loud noises are not as exciting for pets; this night can actually be traumatizing and dangerous for pets when precautions are not made to keep them safe. The following are some tips on how to keep your pet(s) safe on Halloween.
Keep Animals Confined
Some people live in condensed neighborhoods where they could get as many as 500 trick-or-treaters on a given Halloween night! For those of us who have dogs who react every time a someone comes to the door, can you imagine the doorbell ringing this many times could cause distress! Again, the noise and racket this creates could lead to a lot of anxiety for pets. Add on the sight of odd costumes and you could have a recipe for disaster. Pets could take this opportunity to bolt out or respond in a protective manner, not knowing the difference between real danger and a dress up event. Although 500 doorbell rings may seem to be exaggerating and not realistic for your neighborhood, keep in mind that just a few knocks and rings may be too many for your pet. The best thing to do is keep your pets away from the constant opening and closing of your front door, preferably in a crate or at least in another room they can’t get out of. Make sure your pet has a spot they can get cozy in, and hopefully with a toy or blanket that they are familiar with for a sense of security.
Stay Away From the Treats
We may all have a goal of avoiding the mini candy bars and tootsie rolls our kids bring home on this evening, but more importantly, you need to ensure your pet doesn’t get into these tasty treats. Many treats contain xylitol which can be toxic for dogs and cats. In addition, chocolate poisoning can be lethal and not something a pet owner wants to endure. It’s also important to ensure candy wrappers get put away so that your furry friends don’t ingest the packaging, which could lead to a life-threatening bowel obstruction.
Loud Scary Noises
The loud crackling of fireworks is a common noise on a Halloween evening. Animals are often quite frightened by these loud noises and with heightened sensitivity, these events can lead to high stress and anxiety. As we cannot prevent this experience, it is important to know how to protect our precious pets during these situations. First of all, ensuring your pet is confined so they don’t respond to the noise by fleeing is crucial. Keeps dogs and cats inside and other small animals in their protected cages. Dogs and cats will retreat to different hiding places throughout your home, so ensure these exist and allow them to go there as they wish. Next, closing windows and curtains and playing music or having the TV on will help in muffle the sound. With small animals in cages such as rabbits or guinea pigs, you can place a blanket over the cage to muffle the sound even further. Remember that animals such as dogs require reassurance from their owner, therefore ensuring you stay calm is important to send them the message that everything will be ok.
While our intentions are hopefully always in the right place, and no responsible pet owner would want anything negative to happen to their pet on Halloween night, accidents do happen. As previously discussed, pets can be spooked quite easily with all the chaos and the natural tendency is for them to flee. In case this does happen, it is so important to make sure your pets have proper identification on them. A tag with name and number of the owner, or even a microchip, will lead to an easier time locating a pet that has fled further than intended.
Halloween is meant to be a fun and safe occasion. You can help make keep it that way by following these guidelines to ensure your pet’s safety. If you are really worried about the anxiety level in your pet on Halloween you could always try leaving a bowl of candy outside of your door, to avoid having multiple knocks throughout the night. Stay safe and have fun!