It’s getting close to that time of year again. Can you hear the fire crackers in your neighbourhood in Surrey, Langley, Delta or wherever you live in the Lower Mainland? Chances are the answer is yes. This also means that your furry companion has heard these loud sounds, as well. Halloween is a fun time of year for most people but it can cause some potential issues for our pets. Here are some things to keep in mind for our four-legged friends when it comes to this spooky holiday season:
Let’s face it, dogs and cats are reeeeeally cute dressed in Halloween costumes. But we have to ask: how comfortable is your pet? Some dogs (or even cats) may not seem to mind a cute outfit here or there – some may even prance around and enjoy the attention. However, we have all seen the
Pets that sit wide-eyed and frozen in their unfamiliar attire (and they’re clearly not having a good time). Be mindful of your pet’s individual personality. If you want to try a costume on your pet but he/she seems nervous or stressed, it’s probably not the best thing to do (no matter how cute they look!).
If you are handing out candy, keep your furry friend safe and secure in another room with their food, water and anything else of comfort to them (pet bed, toys, etc). This will hopefully help keep your pet more calm during all of the door-bell ringing. It will also reduce the risk of him/her barking and scaring the wits out of some costumed children or even getting out of the house accidentally.
Pets should not be left outside on Halloween night. The noises, the strangers and the out-of-the-norm-happenings can be stressful and confusing and possibly dangerous for your pet. A scared or disoriented pet that gets outside could easily get lost or hit by a car. Keep your dogs and cats securely inside the house on Oct 31st.
This one seems pretty obvious but we’ll include it anyway: No candy or chocolate for your pets! Chocolate and candy containing xylitol can be extremely toxic for dogs and cats. If you have a food-thief in your home, keep the candy bowl well out of reach of your four-legged bandit so that there are no accidental ingestions. Keeping your pet in a separate room during Halloween night, as mentioned above, will also reduce the chances of an emergency trip to the vet because of a piece of candy (or more) being eaten by Fluffy.
Is your pet is very sensitive to loud sounds (ahem, firecrackers anyone?)? Is the door bell ringing constantly and all of the (in their minds) uninvited guests going to cause them to cower? Good news: there are some options to keep your furry friend more comfortable. First thing to consider is using a pheromone appeasing spray or diffuser such as Feliway (for cats) or Adaptil (for dogs). These products have a naturally calming effect on your pet and may help ease them through the Halloween season. Your dog may also benefit from using a ThunderShirt which utilizes pressure points to help reduce stress. Lastly, you can ask your veterinary team (hey, there!) about prescription anti-anxiety options if your pet needs something a bit stronger. You can even consider using a combination of these suggestions for optimal results.