Everyone knows that Halloween can be a very stressful and scary time for your pet baby. The loud noises from fireworks, terrifying trick or treaters, blazing bonfires and overall commotion that comes with it can have your pet shaking like a leaf and hiding behind furniture the entire night, especially if they are any way like my own!
We've all also heard the horror stories of pets getting injured or worse so I've tried to put together some hints and tips to keep your pet safe and happy at this frightening time:
If possible, keep your pet indoors. Try keep them away from the front door where you will more often than not, be answering to trick or treaters. The spooky costumes can really torment your pet and could cause them to dart for the exit. The loud noises of fireworks are very frightening and I often hear of the once quiet, lazy dog jumping the side gate from the terror of the noise. It's the same with cats, once they hear it they will run in any direction, most likely and unfortunately towards a busy road.
Always take the precaution to check that your pet is microchipped with the owners up to date contact details, and is wearing a collar with an identification tag on it so if you do have an escapee on the night, they should be easy identifiable when found.
Make a fuss of your pet when they are indoors. Try distract them by playing, talking to them soothingly etc.
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If your pet has a history of anxiety at this time of year, seek a vets help. There are a number of products and medications on the market now that help treat anxiety. A new product available is called "thundershirt". This is a shirt that everts constant, gentle pressure on your pet and will help your pet relax.
Unless you know your pet likes being dressed up, try not to dress them up in costumes. Most pets hate it and can injure themselves trying to break free when left unsupervised.
Do not feed your pet any sweets/candy/chocolate, at any time of the year! We all know large amounts of chocolate is toxic to an animal. It can cause severe gastrointestinal upset and in some cases can lead to seizures or even death. Symptoms to watch out for include: vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, rapid uncontrolled breathing and in severe cases, seizures.
Exercise care if you are going to have candles around the house as a wagging tail or inquisitive cat can easily knock them over, thus creating a fire hazard.
Lastly if you do come across a pet that has been injured or is lost, please get in contact with your local animal ranger or warden to help them get home! Remember to always exercise caution when approaching an injured or spooked animal as they can sometimes become aggressive when frightened.
Overall, Halloween can be a fun time for families, but just remember your pet does not think the same. Try to take these steps to minimise the stress and keep your pet safe and happy!