It’s almost Halloween! Whether you plan on going all out, watching a scary movie at home, or avoiding the event all together, you will want to keep your pets safe.
The RSPCA in the UK can receive almost 6000 calls on Halloween from people seeking help and advice. Pet Poison Helpline state that calls increase by 12% on the night and the DSPCA in Ireland say that they get calls each year from distressed pet parents whose pets have run away in fear of loud noises.
We’ve put together a guide to help you make the most of the night, without any danger to the fluffier members of your family!
Keeping your pets safe at Halloween
1. Keep the treats locked away
There are quite a few human Halloween treats that are dangerous for your pets, some are even toxic.
Chocolate is completely off limits to cats and dogs, and too much sugar in general is extremely dangerous for your pets. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol can have harmful effects too. If your dog ingests a wrapped treat, the wrapper could cause problems in the stomach.
To avoid these issues, you will need to store halloween treats out of their reach. It is also important to tell children not to give their treats to pets - this is one time sharing isn’t a good idea!
If you think your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t, seek help immediately. Do not wait!
2. Pet costumes
If you have decided to dress your pet up, make sure they are comfortable in their outfit by getting them to try it on prior to the event. The outfit should be functional as well as fun (i.e. to keep them warm, dry if needed etc.). If they don’t like it, you shouldn’t force them; many pets don’t like dressing up at all!
If your pet is ok with wearing a costume, try to keep it minimalist. Check that there is nothing hanging down that could easily be chewed off, no choking hazards or external parts that could cause injury.
Don’t restrict their movement or sight and ensure they can breathe properly!
3. Halloween decoration and fire hazards
If you decide to decorate your house, be very careful where you display your decorations: low decorations or candles can be eaten or knocked over by a tail... which could lead to burns or even a house fire.
It’s best not to leave your animals in the room with any of these decorations at all, no matter how high up you position them. Curious cats and jumping dogs could cause trouble…
Even if your pet likes visitors, the volume of trick or treaters combined with new smells and a change in routine could cause them stress. It might be best to leave them in a separate, safe space such as a bedroom or family room. If they are distressed, don’t leave them to suffer alone!
However, if you anxiously check on them regularly, you may cause them more stress as they can sense something is wrong. Finally, if you open the door, make sure they don’t dart out!
Fireworks can be scary. According to the RSPCA, 45% of UK dogs show fear when they hear fireworks. Here’s what you can do to help!
Pheromone diffusers, such as the FELIWAY® model can be helpful! These have a calming influence, and you could also consider seeking advice from your vet who will refer you to a behaviourist if needed.
Close the windows, put on the TV or play some music to muffle the sound.
Don’t not leave them outside! This can be very stressful for your dog or cat and anybody could feed them something they shouldn’t have, tease them or frighten them.
5. Don’t lose your pet!
Make sure your pet is wearing ID, preferably microchipped. In the event that your pet escapes from the house, you will be in a position to find them.
Good luck and Happy Halloween!
Do you have plans with your pet this Halloween?