Who doesn’t enjoy the fun and high jinx of Halloween? It’s a special night of the year for kids and big kids alike. But hazards lurk around every corner for your pets who can find the celebrations stressful. Animals won’t understand what is happening and your Halloween props can be scarily dangerous for your furry friends.
The Witching hour approaches. Here’s how to ensure that your pets are safe and that your celebrations don’t come back to haunt you!
Don’t give your scaredy cat the heebie jeebies
Your neighbourhood will be transformed into a ghost town by trick or treaters. You may well be feeling spiritual and relish the repeated knocks at the door, but your pets might be intimidated by visiting strangers or even people they know wearing weird costumes!. Keep animals away from the front door and with company to prevent stress.
Remember that when visitors come calling, it’s easy to overlook your pets and before you know it, they can be out of the door and having a devil of a time somewhere they shouldn’t be.
Candy treats over your dead body
Chocolate can be lethal for cats and dogs. There will be plenty around during the spook-tacular proceedings and so you must ensure that your pets don’t get their paws on any candy treats. Sweets containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs who will eat them anyway. Be vigilante at all times and make sure that sweets end up in the right mouths.
Don’t allow your pets to be spirited away
Most revellers will have the best intentions but there are always exceptions. When really evil people pay you a visit rather than those acting the part, pets left outside can be taunted, injured, stolen or even killed. It’s enough to make your blood run cold. Keep pets indoors for the evening, especially black cats which are particularly at-risk during Halloween.
Avoid sticky situations
In addition to those candy treats, Halloween delivers further hazards to your pets in the form of glow sticks. These fun accessories aren’t actually poisonous, but they taste truly terrible and could make your pet vomit if they happen to chew them.
Don’t get too fancy with your dress
It’s fabulous fun to dress up for Halloween but maybe not for pets. Only treat your pet to a spooky makeover if you are sure that dressing up doesn’t cause them undue stress. Check that they can see where they are going and have freedom of movement. Test the outfit the night before for a good fit and to acclimatise your furry friend to their new look.
Beware of rotting flesh
Those fabulous and traditional pumpkins lend character to the festivities but left too long, they can rot and that won’t stop your dog from tucking in. Display pumpkins out of your pet’s reach, especially if they feature lighted candles, and dispose of them carefully afterwards.
Pets with pulling power
You might be considering a few illuminated decorations to vamp up your Halloween display. It is vital that your pets don’t have access to electric cables as they can result in more than a hair-raising experience. Dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs will all be attracted to electric wires and a chew fest or even a little tug could result in a severe electric shock. Batteries are also hazardous if chewed or swallowed.
Playing devil’s advocate
It’s tempting to include your pets in your spooky celebrations, but they will probably find the evening less than life-affirming. Some pets will cope well. However, animals are best kept away from the action and in a peaceful environment which isn’t periodically invaded by ghosts and ghouls.