Halloween and Your Pet
Halloween is meant to be a fun holiday for us humans, but it can end up being a very scary day for your pet! From decorations to costumes to strangers, here are our top tips to help you keep your pet safe and comfortable this Halloween! To help keep the fears and frights to a minimum, we have put together a list of the spooky experiences your pet might have and how you can help!
Each pet may be different, but it is always important to think about how your pet could react to everything about Halloween!
1. Pumpkins, Goblins, Ghost – OH MY!
Lots of people will be decorating their homes outside with giant blow-up characters, flashing lights and moving creatures. The first potentially stressful situation you may find yourself and your pet in October are experiencing outdoor decorations. These can frighten your pet on walks. You don’t have to force your pet to continue when they are acting scared, and it is easy to avoid this situation if needed. If you find that your pet is getting nervous on your traditional walk route, change it up! Stick to well-lit areas, in quiet neighborhoods. The easiest way to make sure your pet avoids the spooky front lawns is to walk during daylight hours! This will help prevent your pet from being frightened by night time decorations!
2. Dangerous Decorations!
Almost every pet, whether you have a dog, cat, bird, reptile or small animal has gotten into something they weren’t supposed to. When decorating your home inside for Halloween, it is important to make sure when you choose decorations that can be securely hung up high, and placed up, away from where your pet can reach them. Decorations such as fake spiderwebs and string can be dangerous for your pets if ingested. By being strategic about how and where you decorate indoors, you can easily avoid the costly vet bills this season!
3. Candles and Critters!
Everyone loves to use candles to illuminate their pumpkins and other decorations around Halloween, but these are obvious fire hazards. There are plenty of battery-operated candles and light available to help avoid any candle related accidents around Halloween!
4. Trick or Treating Escapees!
Halloween is meant to be a little spooky, but you also want to keep yourself and your pet safe. Even the calmest pet can get spooked with the doorbell ringing and the front door opening and closing. If your pet is at risk of attempting to escape out the front door, you might want to invest in a gate. You can gate off your front hallway, or even simply block your door with the gate! Pressure fit gates make it simple to protect your pet and keep your doors and walls hardware free! If gating your house isn’t a possibility, you can keep your pet’s leash on them; it is easier to get a hold of your pet’s leash then their collar if they’re in the middle of escaping!
5. Backyard Boos!
If you let any of your pets free roam outside, you might want to keep a closer eye on them during the Halloween season! Lots of us let our pets out in the backyard and assume it is a safe space for them to be outside. Around Halloween, your pet might get frightened easily in your backyard and try to escape. Make sure to keep an eye on them and inspect your yard regularly to make sure they sneak out without you knowing! An outdoor cat could also get scared by the outdoor decorations, or get spooked by strangers and costumes. During this time of the year, keep an eye on all of your pets, and if your outdoor pet doesn’t come back, it is important to report it right away, and do not wait!
6. Identifying the Creatures!
If your pet does happen to get out accidentally, you want to make sure that they can be seen, identified and returned back to you as soon as possible! Reflective and light up accessories can help others see your pet in the dark! These are also beneficial for night time walks throughout the year! It is also important to make sure your pet’s tag is not only up to date with both your phone number and emergency contact, but legible. Throughout day to day life, a pet’s tag can take a beating! Without regular inspection, your pet could be walking around without a way to get back home! If your pet does get out, it is important to make sure you post on local lost pet social media pages, tell your neighbours and file a lost report with your local animal control and shelter immediately.
You can even invest in a GPS Collar that can sync with your smartphone! You can keep track of your pet and find them faster too!
7. A Halloween Retreat!
You should also have a safe space away from your door for your pet to safely retreat to with their favourite toys and some distractions such as puzzles and chews. The easiest way to keep them all safe is to simply just keep them away from the action in another room! If your pet is showing signs of stress, such as panting or pacing, even when they are away from the action, they may benefit from wearing a Thundershirt or using some calming spray on a bandana to help them remain calm.
8. Who Are You?
The point of a costume is to become something or someone else temporarily. Your pet knows you by the way you look, sound and smell. What if you changed one of those things? Your pet can become unsure of you if they cannot fully identify who they are with. This can spook your pet, so you want to make sure they are comfortable!
9. Dressing Up Daisy!
Not all pets love dressing up. It is important to make sure that you only dress up a pet who tolerates wearing clothing. In addition to this, their costumes need to be pet safe. Make sure you get a costume that fits your pet properly, and that there is a way for them to get out of it if it is stuck. Although we may find costumes adorable and entertaining, if your pet is acting stressed or panicking, it is time to take the costume off.
10. Keep the candy bowl away!
The most obvious danger to our pets around Halloween is the candy bowl. Candy isn’t part of our pet’s diets. Pets also don’t just eat the food inside, but they usually eat the wrapper too. This can cause a great deal of digestive distress for them. On top of this, chocolate is extremely dangerous for any pet. If all of your efforts fail, and your pet does get into chocolate, you need to take them to the vet to make sure they get the proper medical attention.