Halloween and your pet
Costumes, trick-or-treaters, and jack-o-lanterns — all signs point to Halloween! But before the first trick-or-treaters come to your door and you dress your pet up, make sure that they are ready for the holiday. Last year saw Covid-19 restrictions in place which meant our pets did not see much trick or treating. Whilst this is a fun night for many, it can be a scary and unusual night for our pets, particularly if this is their first Halloween. We always find it is better to over prepare!
Be wary of strangers
If you want to take your dog along for trick or treating, make sure they’re properly socialized and would actually enjoy being a part of the fun. Many dogs get very nervous when approached by unfamiliar people or excited children and adding Halloween masks and costumes to the mix can set your dog up for a biting incident. Some dogs could become fearful and anxious and try to run away.
Staying safe and secure
Halloween can be stressful for many pets because of the non-stop door knocking and doorbell ringing, trick-or-treat yelling kids, strange costumes, and the constant opening and closing of the door.
- Create a safe space. The noises associated with trick or treating (such as doorbells, knocking, and loud children) can be stressful for your pets. If your pet is anxious when someone knocks or rings the doorbell, set up a secure room away from all the noise where they can hang out. Put on calming music to block the sound of the doorbell and put out their food and water, favorite toys, or a yummy chew. And don’t forget a clean litter box for the cats!
- Medication. Medication can help give your dog relief from their noise aversion symptoms.
- Prevent door dashing. You don’t want your dog to get spooked and run out the front door while you’re handing out candy. Put up gates to prevent your pet from rushing up to trick-or-treaters or dashing out the door. Or put your pet on a leash and keep that leash in hand when you’re opening the door to hand out candy.
Keep sweets and treats out of reach
Halloween treats are delicious for humans but can be dangerous for pets. It’s best to keep all treats out of reach of pets, especially chocolate and treats containing the sugar-free ingredient, xylitol. Keep the bowl of sweets out of reach of your pet in between trick-or-treaters and hang your child’s bag of goodies up high when they get home.
Pet suffocation happens much too often, so make sure to keep any treat bags away from your pet and cut them along all the edges (so it lays flat) before throwing them away. Lots of animals want to investigate bags because they smell like food or candy, but that can be dangerous quickly!
For information on what to do in the event of your pet eating sweets or chocolate – please click here.
Be fire safe
Did you know that about 1,000 fires are started each year unintentionally by pets? Their fluffy tails or excited jumping can knock candles over and harm them or your home. Stay safe and use glow sticks or LED candles in your pumpkins and as decorations this year.
With some simple planning and easy management techniques, you and your pet can stay safe and have fun this Halloween!