Within a few days, ghosts and goblins will be roaming our streets, begging for treats and hopefully not playing any tricks. Halloween is a fun holiday for many people, but how do our pets react? Is this holiday “spooky” for our pets as well?
Part of the excitement of Halloween is the chance to dress up. Although our costumes might vary from the pretty ballerina to the horrific Freddie Krueger, our pets are often confused by this change of face. Seeing their owners, or even normally friendly neighborhood kids in their Halloween attire may just trigger a dog’s territorial instincts. Unfortunately, this protective nature may end up with the pet biting someone in their attempt to watch over their home. Other pets become confused, often struggling to get away or perhaps barking excessively.
Dressing your pet up can be a fun idea, but owners should keep their pet’s comfort in mind. Costumes should never be secured with rubber bands or any item that might constrict breathing or potentially restrict circulation. Likewise, pet costumes should be inedible and avoid any toxic paints or dyes. If your pet appears uncomfortable in any way, it’s probably best to allow your pet to appear in his birthday suit!
The two biggest dangers to pets during this creepy holiday are injuries and poisonings. A little common sense can help make sure that you and your pet don’t end up at the emergency hospital. First, take a look at your Halloween decorations. Fake cobwebs or anything resembling a string can be attractive to cats and will cause digestive obstructions if swallowed. Candles inside of pumpkins are easy targets for excited or curious dogs and are likely to cause burns, or worse, start a fire if knocked down.
Because of the excitement surrounding the holiday, pets may get anxious and attempt to dart outdoors. Even if your pet is normally very social, the confusion of noise and weird costumes just might be too much for your pet. Keep all of your four-legged family indoors and safe during the trick-or-treating hours.
Many people are aware that chocolate can be dangerous to pets. It takes just 8 oz of milk chocolate, or 1.5 oz of unsweetened chocolate to cause problems for a 10 lb dog. Cats will be affected by much smaller amounts. But other candies, especially treats sweetened with xylitol can also cause problems. Keep all of the Halloween goodies away from your pets.
Finally, although the reports are extremely rare, many people worry for the safety of their black cats during this holiday. Consider bringing outside cats inside for a few days or even potentially boarding the cat if you are concerned.