Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
This is a topic that never goes out of fashion (even though the costumes our pets wear might!) — Halloween pet safety. In my household, Henrietta, the diva poodle, is rather enthusiastic all of the time while our other animals (four cats, a large dog and a lizard) are pretty laid back. When Halloween rolls around, though, all bets are off and all of the pets undergo personality changes. The noises, the masks and a bevy of children knocking at the door all add up to make them ill at ease and out of sorts.
Halloween is a fun time for the children behind the masks and costumes, but can be stressful for your pets. If you have pets and are looking for some Halloween pet safety tips, here are a few to help you enjoy the night as much as the little trick-or-treeters who come a-knocking:
- Keep them away from the doors. Make certain there is no way your pet can slip out the door when you open it to hand out the candy. Even a dog who would generally not make a break for it could become so highly stressed that he would run out into the night. I suggest either using a door to hand out the candy where your pets can’t have access or locking your pets in a pet-friendly room in your home. A pet who never gets out, who happens to escape on Halloween is a scary combination for a pet lover.
- Candy is not good for your pet. Chocolate can be deadly for dogs any time of the year but at Halloween there will likely be more chocolate lying around than usual. Keep it out of reach and up in a cupboard so she can’t get to the stash.
- Candy wrappers can be as deadly for your pets as the chocolate. Cats are drawn to the crinkly, bright candy wrappers and while he or she may just bat it around , there is a possibility she could chew on it and swallow some and wreak havoc with her digestive track.
- Don’t use candles in your pumpkins. Use electronic aka battery-operated tea light candles in your pumpkins. A dog with a wagging tail or a curious cat could knock the pumpkin over and cause a fire. Also, a cat could be drawn to the flickering of the candle light and think it’s something to be played with and hurt himself.
- Use common sense. If you’re taking your dog out with you when you’re going from house to house, unless your pet is accustomed to dressing up this could add to his stress level. Donning a costume, being out in the dark with children in costumes and masks could lead to sensory overload and to your dog behaving in a manner that she typically wouldn’t.
- Your pet may act out. Even if your dog wouldn’t hurt a flea on most days, screaming children, dressed in costumes could turn even the most docile dog into a biter or growler.
- Lock up the cats. Keep your cats in a pet-friendly room during the trick-or-treating festivities. If you have “outdoor” cats, try to get them into a secure location for the evening as well.
- Crate him. If your dog will be calmer in his or her crate during the time the kids are out knocking on doors, that would be your best bet to keep him safe. Offer him a treat and let him out when the festivities are over.
Your pet should be taken outside to do her business before the designated trick-or-treat time so you can step back and enjoy the joy on the children’s faces when they come to your door.
(Photo: Shutterstock Puppies in costumes)