With Halloween just around the corner, I’d like to give you a few reminders or suggestions on how to help your animal family through the festivities. This can be a stressful time for many animals and there are ways to mitigate that. I’ve also included some photos just for fun.
1. If your animal is stressed or scared by strange noises or unusual looking people, be sure to keep them securely locked in a quiet room in your house on Halloween. All those loud kids in scary costumes can be really upsetting. This will also ensure that your cat or dog doesn’t bolt out the door when the trick or treaters show up. A nice room with some calming music would be a perfect place for the evening.
2. You can also start giving them some Rescue Remedy (just three drops) in the water dish each day, for a few days before the 31st. That will help to release any stress or anxiety and keep them calmer.
3. Don’t forget that dogs are allergic to chocolate, so if you have a big bowl of candy at the door waiting for the trick or treaters, be sure that your pup doesn’t help himself. The same is true for bags of goodies your kids bring home from their rounds. It’s really easy for dogs to get into the chocolate right now and that could be a bad situation. Xylitol, a sugar free sweetener, is very poisonous to dogs and some other small mammals, and is found in many candies and baked good. Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and sometimes seizures and death. If you suspect that your dog has eaten something toxic and he exhibits any of these symptoms, call your vet right away.
4. The ingredients in candy are not the only problem. Many dogs will eat the wrappers and sticks and this can cause an intestinal blockage. So keep the candy far, far away.
5. Don’t leave lighted candles or jack-o-lanterns where the animals can get to them. Cats and dogs may stick their nose over the flame to investigate, or they can tip them over.
6. Some animals love to “dress up” and others hate it. Don’t make your animal friend wear a costume unless they really love it. Never leave an animal in a costume alone – they can chew it up and ingest it, get it caught on something or hurt themselves trying to get out of it.
7. Halloween is a great time to drop by your local shelter with some treats for the cats and dogs waiting for a home. It’s even better if you can come in costume and brighten the staff’s day.
Halloween can be a fun time for people and animals and with a little planning, everyone can have a safe and enjoyable time.
Note: I would add that if you have a black cat, make sure that you keep it indoors. Pranksters have been known to harm black cats during this holiday so keep your kitties safe.