While Halloween can be a lot of fun for both kids and adults, donning scary costumes and running around the neighborhood, putting up spooky decorations, handing out candy, having parties, and eating your body weight in sugar, it may be a rather frightening event for animals who don’t understand why everyone looks different and the doorbell keeps ringing. Holidays can be a particularly stressful time for pets, not only because of the comings and goings of strangers, but because they pick up on your excitement. In any case, they can quickly become overwhelmed by all the activity and changes to their environment. And on a night that’s filled with tricks as well as treats, they may face some truly dangerous situations if you’re not careful and attentive. So here are just a few tips to keep your animal companions healthy and happy on Halloween night.
1. Hide the chocolate. In case you didn’t know, chocolate is a dangerous and sometimes deadly substance when consumed by most animals (dogs and cats among them). And yet, your pets don’t know any better. They will devour an entire bag of candy if you leave it unattended and in easy reach of their questing noses. Although you may be wrapped up in the excitement of the season, don’t let this detail escape your attention or you may find yourself at the emergency pet clinic.
2. Keep them indoors. Kids can easily get caught up in the mischievous side of this holiday and may pull pranks that could harm your animals (or try to feed them candy). In order to preempt the whole issue, keep your pets indoors on Halloween night to avoid the possibility that they could be on the receiving end of a cruel prank or a well-intentioned poisoning at the hands of unthinking kids.
3. Crate them. If your dog or cat is especially nervous or doesn’t handle company well, aside from keeping them in the house, you may want to crate them for the night. This isn’t punishment. In fact, if they’re crate trained, they will likely feel much safer in their cozy little confines. Plus, they won’t be trying to bolt every time a trick-or-treater appears on your doorstep. Just make sure they have food, water, and plenty of toys and take them out for frequent bathroom breaks.
4. Take them out with you. If you have a pet that is relatively calm but doesn’t like to be left alone, consider giving them a costume and taking them out trick-or-treating. Some people keep pet treats on hand for just such an occurrence and this way they won’t be barking or spraying the walls all night while you’re out and kids are pounding on the door.
5. Consider a kennel. If all else fails, you can always take your pet to a kennel for the night. They will be safe and comfortable in their pet sanctuary with no costumed strangers or ringing doorbells to set their nerves to jangling. This may just be the best way for everyone involved to enjoy a Halloween that’s terror-free.