This Halloween, take a minute to make sure your pets are prepared for this weird and scary holiday. We get very excited about the costumes, decorations and trick-or-treating, but let’s take a minute to picture this from a pets perspective.
Some dogs and cats are very laid back and are not bothered at all by hordes of costume clad strangers coming to their home. For most pets, the costumes and high volume of people coming up to the house can cause a lot of anxiety.
Costumes for Pets Not all pets like to be dressed up, so if your pet seems stressed by the costume do not make them wear one.
If your pets does not mind dress up, make sure that the costume fits properly, allows for normal movement and has no little parts that can be eaten by the pet.
Costumes for People Make sure to let your pet see and sniff your family’s costumes before you put them on. If you have a mildly anxious pet, try to get into costume with them in the room so that they understand it is you. Have some treats handy to turn a potentially scary experience into a positive one.
If you have a very anxious pet, consider tucking them away for the night in their crate or a bedroom where they can be undisturbed by the costumes, decorations and events of the evening.
Trick-or-Treat Place pets in a quiet room away from the front windows and door before Trick-or-Treating begins so that they do not see all the strangers coming to the house and feel the need to try to protect you and their home.
If you have a pet that stresses easily, consider sitting right by the door or on your front porch so that Trick-or-Treaters do not need to ring the doorbell, knock or enter the house. Not hearing these things will help reduce any stress you pet may be experiencing.
If you are planning to take your pet Trick-or-Treating with you, make sure that they are comfortable with people in costume, excitement and high activity levels around them and their costume, if they will be wearing one. Also keep an eye out that they are not getting any dropped candy from the ground or porches.
General Tips Make sure your pets have current ID tags on and that their microchip registration is up to date with correct phone numbers. This is a scary night and lots of pets will get out of the house or yard.
Your Halloween candy is a big bucket of toxins for your pet. Not only is chocolate toxic to dogs, many gums and sugar free candies contain Xylitol, which can cause liver failure in your pets. Wrappers can also be a problem as they can create a foreign body that can cause gastro-intestinal obstruction that may require surgery. Make sure all candy is kept out of reach or your pets.
Consider getting either a Feliway or Adaptil room diffuser to help calm anxious pets. Set it up in the room your pet will be in during Trick-or-Treat hours or during your party. For best results, set up earlier in the day so your pet already thinks of this as a calm area before he/she is confined there.