Halloween Safety For Your Pets

Halloween is a spooky, festive, and fun time for most humans.

For pets, it can just be downright spooky.

Strange costumes, loud noises and constant interruptions throughout the evening can set put your pet’s stress level off the charts. Here are a few tips to keep your furry friend safe during the scariest night of the year.

Minimize Noises

Constant knocking on the door or ringing of the doorbell can put your dog or cat on high alert. Many pets don’t enjoy strangers showing up unannounced. To minimize the effect of trick-or-treaters on your pets’ stress level, consider setting up shop outside on the porch. Plop down in a chair with a bowl of candy and enjoy the evening by watching kids run throughout the neighbor in all of their crazy costumes, so your dog or cat doesn’t have to hear the constant noise.

Keep ‘em Crated

Pets can become aggressive when stressed out can pose a threat to members of the household, trick-or-treaters, and themselves. If your pet can’t handle the stress of the night, they might be better off hanging out in their crate or in a quiet room where they feel safe.

Keep Candy Hidden

Candy is one of the biggest threats to your pet on Halloween. Much of it is fatal if ingested, so be sure not to leave it lying by the door, on the ground, or on a short table. Instead, keep your sugar-filled goods on a counter out of reach, or outside where the kids can swing by and grab ‘n go.

Let Them Adjust to your Costume

Dogs gain familiarity with their family through sight and scent. Covering yourself in a costume and makeup can mask both your normal smell and appearance. This has a tendency to make your pet unable to recognize you, and might frighten them. Bulky, ghoulish costumes often have this effect. If you’re dressing up for Halloween, be sure to get dressed in front of your pet so they know it’s still you under the disguise.

Leave Candles & Decorations out of Reach

Overly excited pets can easily knock over decorations. Since candles are popular during Halloween, you’ll want to be wary about where you place them; even the top of the fridge and high shelves aren’t safe from cats. Place candles and other dangerous, breakable items in spots your pet won’t likely notice them or be able to reach.

Spend the Evening Out

Rather than put your pet through the stress of the rotating cycle of kids coming to your door, consider spending the evening out and about with your pet. Take your dog to the park for an evening walk or play date. Otherwise, head out for a nice dinner and turn off all the lights in the house. This will signal that no one is home, so they shouldn’t come to the door looking for treats.

ID Them

Holidays tend to be popular times for runaway pets. The stress of the day and continuous opening of the front door give them many opportunities to make a run for it. It’s important that your dog or cat is equipped with proper ID in the event they escape. Collars are a great option, but nothing beats a microchip equipped with all of your furry friend’s pertinent information.

Don’t Put Them in Costume

While it might seem cute to dress up Fluffy as a ferocious lion for Halloween, there’s the potential for danger when you put clothes on any pet. Your pet might attempt to eat the costume, causing fatal blockages, or the costume might be tighter than you realize and limit their ability to breathe. Always do a few test runs before subjecting your pet to a costume for hours on end—it’s alright if they don’t like it! Never force a dog or cat into a costume when they’re showing signs of distress—they’re already cute enough just the way they are.

Meet the Author: Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible. This stuff gets expensive.

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