I am not talking about the costume you have been laboring over for months or the mega bag of candy you bought at the superstore last month. I am talking about preparing your pets for a safe Halloween. Let’s review three common Halloween dangers and how to prepare for them.
Issue: Costumes may pose a risk to animals that ingest pieces of them, of course, but the bigger risk is animals being frightened by costume pieces which can alter your appearance, profile, way of moving and possibly even sound and smell. This applies to family members as well as friends, neighbors, and trick or treaters.
Solution: Don’t take your pets trick or treating with you or keep them with you when you answer your own door. Instead, confine them in a safe, quiet area of the house. Consider giving them a puzzle toy or feeder if no one will be available to sit with them. You may also want to play music or the TV to mask sounds of the doorbell. If one or more of your animals is very stressed and others are responding badly to that stress, you may not want confine them together.
Issue: I am sure that it is no surprise to anyone reading this that candy is dangerous for dogs. However, anyone can be temporarily distracted on a busy night. Additionally, kids and guests may not be aware of the danger. Similarly, changes in your pet family since last year may necessitate a different approach to the danger of candy. A grown puppy may now be able to reach candy on a counter, for example.
Solution: make sure everyone understands how important it is to keep candy away from pets. Check that all candy is safely stored whenever you leave the room and before you go to bed. Make sure all candy wrappers are properly discarded.
Issue: While most of the people out on Halloween night will be just looking for a little fun, there are unfortunately a few bad actors, in addition to the risk of intoxicated or overexcited revelers.
Solution: The safest place for your animals is inside your house or another secure shelter where they will not be at risk of any injury or fright from a trick gotten out of hand.
Hopefully these tips will help you have asafe and happy Halloween. Trick or treat!