All the little ghouls and goblins are prowling the neighbourhood in search of candy, carved pumpkins are aglow on porches, and the crisp fall air rustles the leaves – its Halloween!
While this holiday is enchanting and exciting for both adults and children alike, many pets can get forgotten in the hustle and bustle of trick-or-treating and fireworks displays. Here are some important tips to ensure that your furry family members stay safe and don’t get too scared (or sick!) this Halloween.
- Trick-or-treaters and pets don’t mix. Pets (especially dogs) can become frightened and even show uncharacteristic aggression on Halloween. With many strangers in costumes coming to the door, they can become quite stressed. To prevent this, put them safely in a calm room with water, a bed, and something fun to do (such as a stuffed Kong for a dog or a catnip toy for a cat).
- Don’t leave your pet outside in the yard. As crazy as it sounds, there are still people who – due to cult beliefs - may want to tease, injure, or even kill pets on Halloween. Black pets are especially at risk. In fact, the SPCA won’t allow anyone to adopt all black cats or dogs in the month of October as a precaution. Another more practical reason to keep pet’s inside on Halloween is to prevent excessive barking or attempts to escape the yard due to fear from fireworks and excess neighbourhood noise.
- Keep the candy out of reach. Although too much candy isn’t good for anyone, for your pet getting into your kids’ stash could have deadly consequences. Ingesting plastic and metal wrappers, chocolate, and high amounts of sugar could cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even enough distress that a trip to the vet is warranted.
- Keep Halloween decorations, including edible ones such as carved pumpkins and ears of dried corn, away from pets. Dogs can sometimes try to eat these items or chew on them, causing vomiting or cuts in the mouth. Cats are especially attracted to long, stringy decorations and can become tangled in them or attempt to eat them – so only allow pets around decorations under supervision.
If you’re feeling bad for excluding your pet on Halloween, just remember that their safety is important and that most pets (especially cats) are not only safer, but also much happier and calmer being placed in a quiet room until the excitement of Halloween is past.
If you want to include Fluffy or Fido in the festivities in some small way – try feeding them some canned pumpkin mixed with a little plain yogurt and a pinch of cinnamon mixed with some of their favourite treats. This way, your pet can enjoy a little slice of fall as well. Happy Halloween from all of us at Only One Treats!
– Carly Piatocha, Only One Treats Contributor