Halloween is tomorrow. This is a fun and exciting holiday for children and for parents that help the youngsters prepare for “trick or treating,” but this is not a fun holiday for pets because there are so many alarming things that happen during the event.
What alarms pets? First, the doorbell rings constantly throughout the evening. If the dog is loose and runs to the door, he is confronted by weird creatures shrieking “trick or treat” or “boo.”
In scanning a number of websites, I noticed that nearly all of them recommend the dog (and/or cat) should be safely confined in a room far away from the front door and preferably with a radio on to mask the noise of the visitors. One site even suggested it would be nice to set up a treat table on the porch or the sidewalk near the door to keep the doorbell quiet. That would be fun for the older kids who want to stay home but like the idea of costuming and passing out treats.
If you are having a Halloween party and you don’t have an extra room to leave your pet in, consider boarding the animal overnight. At this point, you need to use your judgment especially if your pet panics when away from home. In that case, I would use (or borrow) a pet crate placed in the quietest spot in the house, possibly with a sheet thrown over it for further seclusion.
Another alarming thing for pets is burning candles. A wagging tail can knock a candle over and a sniffing nose can disturb a jack-o-lantern, causing it to tip over. Be sure to put all candles up and out of reach of pets.
Although candy will never alarm a dog, it should alarm the human, since chocolate can cause restlessness, increased urination and even convulsions in dogs. A larger quantity of chocolate can cause cardiac and respiratory arrest and death. The artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs and eating the wrappers along with candy can be fatal if the become lodged in the digestive tract.
Costumes on people can be distressing to pets, but many pets are alarmed when their owners try to costume the animal. If you want to dress your pet up, try the costume on before the big night and scratch the idea if your pet seems distressed, allergic, frightened or exhibits any other abnormal behavior.
If you never put identification tags on your pet, Halloween night is the night to start. In the remote chance he escapes from his special room, he may bolt out the door and race away. Tags or microchips help identify your pet and get him back to you.
Several websites stress keeping your cats (even outdoor cats) inside for three or four days after Halloween. One of the national humane societies mentioned that Halloween brings out the worst in some people causing them to hurt or kill cats.