Halloween is often a fun night of the year for children and adults alike, but for pets it can involve a lot of unfamiliar sights, sounds and people. This can lead to a cat or dog feeling anxious or exhibiting abnormal/aggressive behaviour in some cases.
Take a look at the steps you can take to help keep your pets safe and content.
Store your treats away safely
Ensure that your pet can’t reach any chocolates and sweets you have prepared for the family and/or trick-or-treaters. Any form of human chocolate or sweets can be toxic for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be dangerous (ASPCA).
You should keep all your Halloween goodies a bowl behind a closed door. This is because a high place alone, like a shelf, is not full proof and cats are often able to reach these lofty heights.
Placing them behind a door also lessens the risk of stray sweets spilling onto the floor and within closer proximity to your pet. If you suspect your pet has ingested anything toxic, please contact your vet for further advice.
Assemble decorations safely
Although extremely unlikely, it is possible for a pet to knock over a lit pumpkin jack-o-lantern and start a fire if the pumpkin is left unsecured. Kittens are also at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame.
Also, make sure to keep wires assembled safely and out of reach so that your pet’s legs don’t get trapped in them. This could not only cause discomfort, but could also lead to things being knocked over and broken, or cause an injury if they drag a wire with them (Hartz).
Safeguard your pets
Halloween does throw up the possibility that your household will either have family and friends coming in and out, or you’ll have trick-or-treaters knocking on your door for sweets.
Be aware that your pet may not be comfortable or familiar with the coming and going of so many strangers, and it can be a stressful time for them. Ideally, your cat or dog should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. (ASPCA)
While opening the door for guests, make sure that your dog or cat is secure, e.g. in another room with treats and toys, so that they and don’t have the freedom to run outside.
To prevent the opportunity for this to be a bigger issue, make sure that your pet is always wearing their collar with name tag.
Hopefully they would return immediately every time, but regardless, these events are also a prime example of why microchipping your pet is so essential, as they can be found quickly if they do attempt to escape.