Halloween… it’s all about ghosts, goblins and ghouls! And while it’s fun for us to be scared at Halloween, it’s not so fun for our pets. On this night of frights, there are many dangers lurking out there for our furry friends. Follow our top tips to help make sure that your pets are safe and comfortable this Halloween, so you can get out and enjoy some spooktacular fun.
1. Keep them secure
Pets should be kept inside during the Halloween festivities, as loud noises, screams and scary costumes can easily cause them to bolt and run away in fright. To avoid your pet escaping, ensure that your dog or cat is kept in a secure place in the house where they will not be able to slip out if the door is open. You can leave a TV or radio on to drown out some of the spooky noises and children trick-or-treating at your door.
Small animals and birds normally housed outside should ideally be moved into a garage or shed. If this is not possible, cover hutches or cages with blankets or carpet to act as sound-proofing and provide increased amounts of bedding for extra security.
Horses, ponies and donkeys that live in areas where there is a considerable amount of Halloween related noise should be securely stabled to help prevent them from panicking and injuring themselves.
2. Microchipping and ID tags
While we hope you manage to keep your pets securely inside over the Halloween period, should the worst happen and your dog, cat or horse escape, it’s crucial that they are microchipped as a permanent form of identification, to enable identification and their safe return. Additionally, ensure that your details are always up to date and an ID tag on your dog or cats collar will make it much more likely you will be reunited with your beloved pet in the event they escape.
3. Keep hazardous things out of harms way
We should always be vigilant about keeping hazardous items away from infants and children, but the same should also apply to our animals.
Keep pets away from any dangerous or flammable items including candles, bonfires and any other sources of open flames. Dogs can have lethal tails, wagging all over the place! We love this about them, but do make sure that lighted candles are kept where they cannot be knocked over by a wagging tail or by a curious cat. Not only could your pet start a fire, but they could severely burn themselves in the process. Candles and decorations can also be hazardous for your pets if they try to chew them, while chocolate is highly toxic for pets. Other sweets can make them ill, so sweets and chocolate should always be kept safely out of your pet’s reach. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, sweets, or any other harmful substances contact your local vet immediately.
4. Help to keep them calm
Pets should have somewhere to hangout where they feel secure if they become frightened or anxious by the noise of Halloween screams and trick-or-treaters, so a quiet room in the house will help, with closed curtains and music playing to mask the noises of the night.
If your pet is showing signs of fear or anxiety, do not react or make a fuss as this will make matters worse. As difficult as it may be, try to ignore fearful behavior. Many dogs suffer from noise phobia, so if you know that your pet will likely be scared or anxious, steps can be taken to minimize their stress by training them in the run up to the Halloween festivities.
5. Be careful with pet costumes
A lot of pets really don't like being dressed up in costumes. If it's something your pet doesn't mind, there are still some things to be wary of. Make sure the costume does not restrict movement or breathing, and watch for signs of overheating. It's also a good idea to limit their costume time to a few minutes (while greeting friends and family, taking pictures, etc.) and then switch them into something more comfortable.
If your pet starts to show signs of anxiety or stress while dressed up (or while you're trying to dress them up), the best idea is to forgo the costuming entirely. If you still want your pet to boast some Halloween flare, a Halloween-themed bandana or collar works great!
Once you’re happy that your pets are safe, secure and comfortable, all that’s left to do is to get out there, creep it real and trick or treat yo’self!!