Halloween can be a stressful holiday for your pets. Strangers in gruesome and outlandish costumes knock on the door, unusual noises come from ghostly figures, and decorations transform your home into a graveyard. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says that Halloween can be dangerous for pets, so precautionary measures need to be taken to keep your pet as well as your guests safe.
Dogs can have different reactions to people in costumes. Some might understand that it’s just a costume and that a person is underneath it, while others might become aggressive or fearful of the individual. In order to prevent dog bites, take preventative action and put your dog in its crate or another place where it will feel safe and calm but be away from trick-or-treaters and other guests.
Another issue with dogs is the potential of them eating chocolate, which is poisonous to them. Also, xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is poisonous. Avoid handing out candies that contain chocolate or xylitol, or if you decide to pass out this candy or allow it into your home, warn your children and friends not to feed the dog these foods.
When it comes to cats, it’s best to keep them indoors during the month of October. Halloween pranks are often committed against black cats, but any cat can be potentially kidnapped and experience abuse and torture. During parties or trick-or-treat, it may be in the best interest of your cat to keep it in the bedroom with its food, water and litter box. This prevents your guests from accidentally letting your cat outside.
Regardless of the holiday, always have updated identification tags on your pet. In case your pet ends up outside, you will have a better chance of finding him/her.
Halloween is a holiday full of excitement, pranks and other mischievous behavior, but your pet might not think that it’s fun. Dress your pets in a costume if they are willing to participate, otherwise, setup a safe room for them to stay in until the festivities are over.