Costumes, trick-or-treating, parties, and pumpkins – Halloween is upon us! While fun for humans, Halloween can truly be frightening for pets. Here are some quick tips, based on your plans for the evening, to keep your furry family members safe and happy this weekend.
- Staying in – If you’re handing out candy, consider putting your pet in another room. A constant wave of strange, small humans dressed in costumes can be stressful, confusing and straight up scary for most pets. Plus open doors can lead to a pet sneaking outside.
- Going Trick-or-Treating – It’s simply not worth it to bring your dog trick-or-treating. Dogs can get easily excited and/or confused by the Halloween festivities and even people they know will be wearing weird costumes that make them look and smell different.
- Hosting a Party – Much like trick-or-treaters coming to the house, hosting a party literally opens up doors for pets to escape. Keep your pets in another room while guests are coming and going. If you want to include them in the festivities watch out for signs of stress, discomfort, withdrawl etc and move them to another part of the house that’s quiet and calm if they become overwhelmed.
- Playing Dress Up – A lot of pets do not like being dressed up in costume. We get it, it’s adorable and funny and also a great photo-op. But if your pet is miserable wearing clothing than there’s nothing cute or hilarious about it. If your pet seems fine wearing a costume at first but later starts rubbing their back/sides on furniture, picking at the clothing, tucking their tail, hunching, flat ears, etc. then they aren’t as comfortable as they may seem and it’s time to take the costume off.
- Outside Fun – Never leave your pet unattended outside, especially on Halloween. There have recently been reported cases of dogs being taken in parts of the Twin Cities. Also, always be sure your pets are wearing ID tags and are microchipped.
- After the Festivities – In the weeks following Halloween it’s a good idea to remind your kiddos that their candy is for people only and can make your pets sick. Just in case, keep the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline on the fridge: 888-426-4435 (This hotline charges a fee of $65 per call). Also keep your vet’s number and local pet emergency hospital information on-hand.