As we near the end of the year the onset of festivities begin and I for one get very excited about such times. Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Bonfire night; I love all of these celebrations but I found out last year that with the fun-filled merriments comes a few potential hazards for our pets. Halloween is nearing and although it may be exciting for us humans, it can be an entirely different experience for our pets if we don’t prepare and settle them for the night.
This year I am going to get ready for the evening well before it comes around so that my dog does not become spooked when I am rushing to the door to answer trick or treaters. I’ll be sure to take him out for a lovely lengthy walk before the night starts so that he does not need to go out during the night, when there will be a many number of loud noises and bright lights that could startle him.
Apart from this, what other things can we do to help our dogs on Halloween?
Well it is wise to keep your pet indoors throughout the evening so that they are not targeted by some people who may wish to use your animal as part of a ‘trick or treat’ joke; this is especially relevant if you have a black cat as they can sometimes become the victims of such pranks due to the superstition that surrounds them. Similarly, it can be a good idea to not let your dog accompany your children when they are out trick or treating as you never know what could happen on this particularly mischievous night.
If you are partaking in the festivities then be careful when laying out treats for the trick or treaters; chocolate, raisins and grapes can all cause problems if ingested by a dog and foil wrappers from cakes or sweet packaging can be dangerous to a cat or dog if ingested.
As mentioned before, there will be a lot of foreign sights and sounds that could scare your pet. There are few things you can do to help sooth your pet’s anxiousness, make them a calm private space in the house away from the door where you’ll be getting lots of knocks and noise; it can also help to leave some of their favourite toys in the room with them along with some reassuring noise such as the television or radio. When you’re not answering the door then make sure you keep popping in to reassure them everything’s okay.
Some people may feel that their dog is very sociable and want them to help greet the children knocking at the door. If you decide to do this then it can be a good idea to keep your canine friend on a lead as even if they are the best behaved or most calm dog in the world, the various vibrant flashing lights, scary costumes and sometimes threating or unsettling sounds can still cause them to become defensive.
When putting up Halloween decorations be conscious of what can be dangerous for your pet(s). Anything that has a flame, such as a lantern, should be kept well out of reach, or even be replaced with something that has a light that looks like a flame; pets, especially cats, can pretty much climb and jump up anywhere in the house, meaning that having a real flame can be hazardous. Using decorative lights or anything with an electrical wire can require you to use duct tape or cable-ties to keep electrical cords out of the way of curious pets; or at least strengthen them so that they cannot be bitten through.
Halloween is a delightful night that is thoroughly enjoyed by small children; by being aware and prepared, it can also be a fun night for your pet(s). Are there any techniques or routines that you have in place on Halloween to keep your pet safe? Let us know in the comments box below.