10 tips for a successful Halloween with your pet

23 October 2019

Halloween is a much-anticipated holiday for kids... and for some grown-ups too! However, our four-legged friends do not understand the meaning of this day, which can sometimes be dangerous for them. Here are some tips to make sure Halloween does not turn into a nightmare for you or your pet this year.

1. Candy is for humans, not your pet!
Treats of all kinds are a potential danger to your cat or dog. Chocolate is highly toxic to pets and can cause heart and nervous system problems that may be fatal. Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure, while candy and chewing gum with xylitol can cause hypoglycemia and liver problems for your furry friends. It is important to keep pets out of the candy at all costs.

Dogs tend to eat everything and anything that is around, even candy wrappers. So make sure to pick up all the leftovers so they cannot get their paws on it!

2. Should I get a costume for my pet?
It may be very tempting to dress up your pet, especially if you plan to bring them along for trick-or-treating, but you should put their comfort first. Make sure their costume is not too tight so it does not restrict their movement or breathing. Also, avoid costumes that could inhibit their sight, which could cause them anxiety.

Remember, some dogs like to chew on fabric, so do not leave yours alone while costumed. That way, they will not accidentally swallow a piece.

3. Safe decorations
Candles can help create the spooky atmosphere that is associated with Halloween but be sure to keep them away from your dog’s tail and snout, as your pet may not realize it is hot.

4. Prevent your pet from escaping through the open front door
With all the Halloween frenzy of the doorbell ringing and kids coming and going, it is normal for you to be a little distracted. However, that is right when your dog or cat might decide to run away.

There are a few ways to prevent pet escapes on Halloween. Remember to keep your dog on a leash all evening and have identification on their collar so you can find them more easily if they do manage to escape. Cats can be in a carrier or in a closed room.

5. It is stressful
Your dog or cat may get anxious seeing so many costumed kids coming to the door or walking down the street. Remember you can set them up in a comfortable room with toys and water, away from the strangers.

6. Keep your cat indoors
Even if your cat is used to going out whenever it pleases, he or she might lose their bearings on Halloween when there is much more activity in your neighbourhood than usual. Remember to keep your cats inside to make sure they stay safe.

7. Think ahead
Are you one of those animal lovers who takes their dog trick-or-treating? Remember that from your furry friend's perspective, it is pretty much just a regular walk. So do not forget to bring along everything they would normally need: a bag for poop, a little water and some treats.

8. Know your dog
You are the best person to know your dog’s level of tolerance. If they are calm by nature, use to noisy environments, children and touched by strangers then there should be no problem tagging along on your Halloween outings. However, do not forget your dog may react in an unusual way if they do not recognize a friend in costume. 

9. Respect their boundaries
Even if for you trick-or-treating is not over yet, your dog may be tired or fed up. Be sure to respect their limits and listen to their needs. This will prevent unwanted behaviour.

10. Don’t force them
If your pet is too old, too young or too anxious, or if you have any doubts about how they will react to such a busy event, just drop the idea of including them in your festivities.

Apply these tips and your evening—as well your pet’s—should go perfectly well.

Happy Halloween