Halloween is only days away now. It’s easy to get caught up in all the preparation – making costumes, decorating, party planning, and getting ready for trick-or-treaters – but don’t forget to think about your animals. They need you at this time of year, as what is fun for us can be terrifying for them.
Keep them safe and happy with our animal-safe Halloween tips.
Keep cats and dogs inside.
Plan your day, so all your dog walks are done, and you’re home and cosy before dark, and make sure you bring cats and other animals indoors. They are not used to costumes and can find all the festivities scary, so may get spooked and run off if outdoors. Keeping them indoors makes sure their safe from harm.
Create a quiet space.
Even inside can be stressful for animals on Halloween – the decorations, the noise, the constant stream of trick-or-treaters. Creating a safe space to hide if it gets too much is vital to keeping animals happy during this holiday.
Keep the treats out of reach.
Been trick-or-treating and have a cauldron full of candy to eat? Make sure you put it out of reach of any animals you share your home with. Chocolate and many sweets we like to eat are bad for dogs and other animals. Keeping them out of the way will ensure you enjoy them without a panic trip to the emergency vet.
Spooky decorations are all part of the fun of Halloween, but if you have animals, you need to keep them in mind when putting them up. Candles can burn interested noses or cause a fire if knocked over, while small decorations or glow sticks can irritate the skin, cause choking or make your animal sick if eaten. Pumpkins can also pose a risk, particularly if they have been out for a while and are starting to rot. Remove them at this point for the sake of hungry wild animals too.
Keep the costumes for humans.
While you may think your animals look cute in a spooky costume, they may have other ideas. Unlike us, they don’t get a say in whether or not they dress up, and for many, it’s no fun at all.
The best thing to do is to not bother with costumes at all, but if you are intent on dressing up your animals, keep costumes simple. Avoid big costumes that prevent them from going about their day and squeezing into their usual spots, and avoid anything that glows in the dark, as the liquid can cause irritation and vomiting if chewed.
Most importantly, pay attention and take their lead – if a costume appears to be stressing them out, remove it.