Halloween can be fun for us humans, but may not be so much fun for our pets. Next to July 4th, this holiday is one of the most distressing times for our furry loved ones.
Because there is so much fun and excitement wrapped up with this celebration, it’s easy to overlook details that on the surface seem harmless, but may become quite a problem for pets and therefore families. Put yourself in their shoes, or paws in this case.
It’s important to start thinking about the details now to ensure the safety and enjoyment for everyone before, during and after the celebrations!
Here are some of the things to consider when it comes to our pets and Halloween.
Pets don’t necessarily enjoy being in costume.
Being dressed in costumes can irritate your fur baby’s skin, block their view and obstruct their breathing. If you do decide to dress them up please be mindful of these hazards. Perhaps tying a simple cute bandana around their neck is enough to have them look festive.
There’s a lot of chaotic energy happening!
Excited children, flashing lights, big decorations, scary costumes, etc. creates chaotic energy. Remember…your pets pick up the energy around them. They may become scared and/or uncontrollable in their jumping, barking and possibly biting.
Chocolate and candy (or anything else) with xylitol are toxic to pets!
Be sure to keep any and all candy away from them. It’s not just about the candy itself…if they eat the wrappers it can cause GI blockages. Too many furry loved ones end up at the vet to remove the blockages and for toxicity treatment. So again, make sure candy and wrappers are well out of reach of paws and jaws!
House and yard decorations with battery packs and electrical cords can be hazardous.
Let’s start with decorations with cords. If animals chew on the cords they can get an electrical burn. If you feel the need for this type of decoration, put the cording through something that will temporarily protect it like some sort of tubing or pvc pipe. Spider webbing and other decorations ought to be kept high and out of reach from the animals. As with the candy wrappers, decorations that are ingested can cause obstructions. Lit candles in pumpkins present safety issues too. Take precautions to ensure flames are set up high, securely seated away from curious pet noses and paws!
Scared animals often bolt...many go missing.
Even if pets are in their own home they can become frightened by the constant ringing doorbell or knocks on the door. They become confused and anxious and with the frequent opening and closing of the door pets can easily slip out of the house and run. It’s definitely not a good night to have to scour the neighborhood looking for your lost pet. Be sure to have their collars securely fastened around their neck with up-to-date tags and id tags attached (even when they’re at home).
An animal that feels threatened or unsafe can be aggressive.
Think about this for yourself…how do you react when you feel threatened or unsafe in any way? A fight or flight response probably kicks in, right? Well it’s the same with pets. Since many pets also feel it is their job to protect the family they can become aggressive and once that adrenaline is running there may be no stopping it!
These are just some of the safety issues to take into consideration this Halloween. You can do an internet search for a more comprehensive list of what you need to think about before Halloween.
Also, please consider leaving pets at home while you’re trick-or-treating. Providing a room in the house where they can stay with relaxing music (and a person to be with them) may help them stay calm, safe and have their own sort of fun this Halloween.
I’m wishing you lots of magic this Halloween whether it’s from a top hat (with a rabbit in it) or from the wand of Merlin!
Want to check in with your Fur Baby and get their input on Halloween or ask other questions? Schedule a Fur Baby Speaks experience!