Keeping Your Pet Safe This Halloween

A child wearing a Halloween outfit with a cat outsideLast week, we covered all of the delicious and safe treats your pet can enjoy on Halloween, but what about general safety when it comes to the most frightful night of the year?

Much like July Fourth and thunderstorm season, Halloween is a time of noise: knocks on the door, doorbells ringing, the shouts and laughter of trick-or-treaters, and the endless parade of costumed ghouls and ghosts lining the streets. This energy, while enjoyed by us and our families, is often quite scary to our pets.

From increased traffic and human pranks, to the unattended candy bowl, there are some potentially serious risks that the holiday poses. But, with some proactive measures, you and your best fur friend can enjoy this howling-good Halloween holiday together.

Don’t Dish it Out – The Candy, That Is

It’s hard to keep one eye on our pet at all times – particularly as the volume of wee-costumed guests increases throughout the evening.  Because chocolate and Xylitol are commonly found in many of our treats and snacks, it’s best to keep all human treats well out of reach of the family pet.  Keep all bowls of candy and baked goods up on a counter that cannot be accessed by your best pooch, or stored in a cabinet when not being used.

Human Tricks and Animal Cruelty

Unfortunately, this time of year sees more instances of animal cruelty than any other. Black cats, due to human ignorance and superstition, have been the primary target; although any pet is potentially at risk when left unattended. Be vigilant with your pet’s whereabouts this week and the week after Halloween, and bring outdoor kitties inside.  And, of course, if you witness any acts of animal cruelty, call the Rocklin Police Department or the Humane Society’s Investigative Line: (916) 765-2938.

Silly, Scary, or Sassy Pet Costumes

Realistically, many pets just don’t care for costumes. If the idea you have in mind would require wrangling your pet into an uncomfortable or annoying costume for the sake of a photo op, maybe it’s best to pass on that costume idea. Making your pet uncomfortable is not worth the cute factor.

However, there are canines (and even the odd feline) who are most agreeable to the idea of a dinosaur hat or bumblebee wings . When choosing a costume for your pet, focus on those that are minimal in design (not a complete body suit, in other words), safe for pets, and comfortably fitted.

Fear Factor

While we want our pets to enjoy every holiday with us, Halloween – much like Fourth of July – can spell NOISE. With the knocks at the door and the shouts and laughter, your pet may experience some anxiety or fear. If you see your pet becoming anxious, or if you believe your dog is prone to anxiety-related aggression, it is best to find a safe, quiet spot in the house where he or she can play with favorite toys until the noise and foot traffic have diminished.

Lost Pet Prevention

The constant opening of the front door, coupled with loads of distractions, create the perfect opportunity for your pet to make a break for it. If you haven’t done so already, consider microchipping your pet. Keep ID tag information current. And, of course, if your pet is participating in the fun, make sure he or she is being supervised throughout the night.

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many, and with a little pet-safety preparation, you can be sure to enjoy this great holiday with the whole family – fur kids included. Happy Halloween!