Halloween can be a scary time for pets too, but not in a fun way.
Us humans jump when we hear an unexpected firework go off, imaging how scary it must be for a dog or cat who doesn’t know what the noise is! Add in noisy kids dressed in scary costumes knocking on the door, bonfires and lots of extra activity in the neighborhood and no wonder you have a confused and freaked out pet on your hands.
During the season, it is imperative to keep your dog or cat SAFELY INDOORS in the run up to and on Halloween night. Unfortunately, every year there are stories of much loved pets that have fallen into the wrong hands on Halloween night. Apart from that, loud noises like fireworks can cause pets to panic and run, sometimes ending up in road traffic accidents or simply getting lost and never finding their way home. Even Wonder Woman dog can’t save them then!
You should always make sure your pet has a microchip and is wearing a collar and ID tag at all times so they can be identified, regardless of the season!
If your cat is usually outdoors, a good quality catnip toy such as the YEEOOOW! range of premium catnip toys available from Mollys.ie will keep him happily entertained inside. For dogs, try to get them used to loud noises as much as possible, turn the tv or radio up a little louder than usual and give lots of cuddles and treats as a reward for not barking at the noise. I got one of my dogs over an emerging firework fear by sprinkling grated cheese on the floor every time a bang went off, he was too busy hoovering up the cheese to worry about the noise! Both dogs and cats feel safer with something over their heads so make sure there are plenty of hiding places available; under beds or tables, and in airing cupboards for cats. DAP (dog appeasing pheremone) diffusers can also help de-stress your pets, as can sprinkling a little rescue remedy in their water.
A lot of pets can really enjoy Halloween, personally I like to have a party on Halloween night and include my pets in the fun. They wear funny costumes like the humans and luckily, the noise of the fireworks doesn’t bother them. The most important thing to remember about costumes is don’t force your pet to dress up if they don’t want to. Its not fair to stress them out just for the sake of a few funny photos. How will you know if they like it on not? Believe me, the look on their faces will let you know right away! 😉
On the night, don’t forget that chocolate and any sweets containing xylotol are poisonous for pets so keep them well out of their reach; that also includes any foil sweet wrappers that could cause a blockage if ingested. Make sure there are no lit candles at “tail swatting” height or where your cat likes to jump up, unfortunately many fires start this way on Halloween. If you are carving a pumpkin please, please make sure there is no space for a kitten to climb into and singe her fur!
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Have a happy and safe Halloween!
Claire & Molly