Happy Halloween

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Pets Safe and Healthy!

Halloween is a happy holiday for kids, teens, and even adults who like dressing up, and entire families! Kids get to experience spooky fun activities, dress in costumes, and enjoy treats including delicious candies. Unfortunately, for many family pets, it can be a stressful time. Although some pets in particular, friendly dogs seem to love greeting kids at the door in costumes and don’t seem bothered by strangers coming to the door to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Halloween, other pets might find this holiday very stressful. Since we know that every companion animal is unique and an individual it is important to think about your pet’s preference, and age, and look at the situation from their perspective.

Dog’s Perspective:

A dog’s natural instinct is to protect their family and home and to alert you that a stranger has arrived. Both smaller and larger dogs can be protective and show guarding instincts. In particular, with larger breeds of dogs. the excitement and commotion of strangers coming to the door can lead to unnecessary stress for them and danger to unfamiliar people and surroundings. On the other hand, taking your dog on a walk in the neighborhood with your kids might be enjoyable. You know your dog’s personality and in general, their attitude toward strangers and crowds (especially considering children/teens/noise), so it’s best to make your decision based on their preferences. Another consideration is your dog’s age and temperament. For instance, if you have a senior dog, the noise and hassle of greeting strangers at the door might not be an enjoyable activity for them. Whereas, a puppy might find it fun and a great way to expend extra energy and tire them out as well. In addition, your dog’s temperament is an important consideration to factor in. For example, does your dog like greeting strangers? Are they shy? Do they display guarding instincts? If so, you might want to put them in another room or leave them at home if you are trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

Cat’s Perspective:

Cats tend to be laid back and seem to find ways of hiding away from Halloween (at least my family cat used to do that). Trick-or-treaters knocking on the door or ringing the bell can be very stressful to cats. You can keep your cat in a separate room upstairs in the comfort of a quiet environment and with food and water. By doing so, you keep them away from the stress of strangers coming to the house and keeping your cat away, you are ensuring that your cat will not run away and get lost. I have had a cat escape the door and it was an extremely stressful experience. Luckily, a nice neighbor took him in.

Health & Safety Tips for All Pets:

Keep candies, chocolates, and other treats away from all of your pets! For instance, chocolates can be toxic to dogs so they should not be given them. As well, pets might get into wrappers and other toxic treats such as raisins and end up getting sick from them. Halloween is about making sure that everyone in the family stays safe and happy, and that includes your furry friends! Make sure that your pet has an identification tag (microchip, collar, ID tag) in the worst-case scenario that he/she escapes the property. Your pets should have identification in any case (not just for Halloween) so that they can be easily identified and contact you if they get lost.

You want to make it a fun occasion for your four-legged friends. I like to give my dogs delicious chewy treats to keep them occupied so they are busy. They are not as spooked out by the noises from the front door when they are distracted.

In conclusion, be mindful of your pet’s preferences, safety, and their perspective. The safest Halloween for your pet is to provide them with a comfortable safe space away from the hustle of Halloween. You might want to crate them or keep them in a safe zone away from the front door. In the past, personally, I have found that keeping my family pets away from trick-or-treaters calms me down, and playing soothing music (relaxing rabbit/dog/cat music) has helped them. After all, it’s a holiday to enjoy and have fun. You shouldn’t have to be stressed about your pets. I hope you find these tips helpful to make it a safe and happy Halloween for you and your beloved family pets! Leave a comment below on safety tips.

I hope everyone has a spooky, safe, and fun-filled Halloween, including your family pets!!!