October is full of a lot of favourites: people and pets can enjoy crisp morning walks, the crunchy leaves are fun for everyone, there’s delicious family time with Thanksgiving. And of course, it’s time for Halloween!
While the idea of costumes and candy is fun for humans of all ages, it can create some tension for the animals in your home.
Here are some tips on making this season a spook-tacular time for your whole home:
Prep & Planning:
- Keep your festive decor pet-friendly by avoiding live flames. Flashlights or battery-powered candles are great! Also be aware of small parts that can be easily consumed by curious pets.
- Pet costumes are the cutest – everyone wants to put puppy in a pirate costume or kitty in a tutu, but they can be less adorable and more uncomfortable for your pet. If you decide to dress up your dog, make sure the costume fits properly and you’re not trying to squeeze them into an outfit. Doing so can not only be painful for the animal, but also just create a lot of anxiety.
- Be smart about treats. When making a decision on what chips or candy to hand out, either choose pet-friendly choices or ensure your pet can’t get into the treats.
The Night Of:
- If you’re home handing out goodies, try to keep them away from the door. You may want to put a gate up so they have a room to themselves with their toys. Halloween is a prime time to possibly lose a pet with the opening and closing of door, so keeping them in a secured area can help reduce that possibility (and can also reduce the potential of your animal getting anxious or protective every time a trick-or-treater arrives). Another tip is to make sure all IDs are updated for your pet(s) in the event they do escape.
- If you decide to take your pet out for trick-or-treating, the same safety tips that apply to young ghouls and goblins apply to your pet. Keep them visible (reflective tape, flashlight). Know when to bring them home. Seeing all of the creative costumes and excited kids equals a hectic evening that can be overwhelming for pets.
With a bit of planning, you can keep Halloween just a little less scary for all of your family members!
Article written by: Jessica Ireland, London Humane Society Volunteer
- 10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pet Owners. Canadian Living. https://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/pets/article/10-halloween-safety-tips-for-pet-owners
- Halloween Safety Tips. ASPCA. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/halloween-safety-tips
- 10 Halloween Safety Tips. PetMD. https://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_halloween_safety_tips