CVMA-ACMV

Seasonal Tips for a Safe and Happy Halloween

October 23, 2012

It’s that time of year again! Leaves crunch under your feet, the air is crisp and there’s a pumpkin at almost every door! The onset of autumn means one thing – Halloween is just around the corner.

Here are a few tips to help make Halloween fun for pets as well as people:

  • Chocolate can be very toxic to our pets. Cats don’t have a sweet tooth, but dogs do, so keep all chocolates that come into the house well out of their reach.
  • Crinkly candy wrappers may attract the curious paws and mouths of pets. Sometimes, candy wrappers are swallowed and this can lead to digestive upset, choke, or blockage. Remember that wrappers are not safe toys and should be thrown away as soon as the candy is eaten.
  • You may find the doorbell ringing, the knocks at the door, and the screeches of the little ghosts and “goulies” welcome seasonal sounds, but dogs and cats generally do not. Their hearing is MUCH more sensitive than ours. A loud evening can be stressful for them, so consider setting up a cozy area for your pets in a back room or basement, with their favourite music playing to help mask the pandemonium.
  • Pets generally do not welcome a change in routine, so the constant flow of strangers at the door might prove worrisome for a nervous pet or rouse aggression in a territorial watch dog. Some Halloween costumes may cause fear reactions or defensive attitudes in pets – the kid in the postman’s outfit may not be comfortable with your little dog nipping around their ankles either! Some children are quite allergic to pets, and this is yet another reason to keep pets away from the festivities. This strategy will also help prevent Fido or Fluffy from sneaking out the door into the dark night!
  • Keep pets indoors. Consider walking your dog early on Halloween night, before children set out trick or treating. Remember that letting cats outside, especially black cats, could lead to prankster teasing, or worse!
  • All of your pets should have proper identification, ideally a microchip, so that if they do escape and are lost on Halloween night, they have increased chances of being reunited with your family.