Halloween pet safety
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4 tips to keep your pet safe on Halloween

October 25, 2019

While many people love to dress up, go trick-or-treating, or attend Halloween parties, it can be a tough time for our pets.

From loud fireworks, to a non-stop ringing doorbell, along with people in costumes, the sensory overload can be stressful for our furry friends. Frightened animals are more likely to run away from home. When a pet is stressed, they may show out-of-character behaviour, sometimes biting or scratching people.

Planning ahead for your pet will give them a better chance at being happier and calmer during the festivities. Here a few tips to keep them safe this Halloween.

1. Keep your furry friend inside

Dog sleeping

Strangers plus lots of attention and loud noise can be scary for pets and encourage aggressive behaviour in dogs.

Give pets a quiet room where they can take a break from the parade of trick or treaters arriving at the door. Pets can have fun playing with Halloween-themed catnip or chew toys away from all the unfamiliar sights and smells. Prepare pets ahead of time by getting them used to the sound of the doorbell ringing and giving them a treat.

Or, avoid having the doorbell ring that evening by leaving a bowl of treats near the door outside where trick-or-treaters can help themselves.

2. Make sure your pet has updated ID

Opening the door for trick-or-treaters all evening long increases the chances that a pet may escape outside. Ensure your pet has at least two forms of identification in case they go missing. Pets should have a collar with tags, ear tattoo and a microchip registered with the BC Pet Registry.

Check to make sure your address and phone number attached to the pet’s microchip in the registry is up to date. Give a missing pet the best chance of returning home by making sure they have ID and that the contact information is correct.

3. Keep the candy away from your pet

Pets can choke on hard candies and chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. That’s why it’s important to store candy in a spot where your pet won’t be tempted to chow down.

Pets can still enjoy treats made especially for them on Halloween. Check out your local pet supply store or dog bakery for Halloween-themed treats that your pet will love.

4. Avoid costuming your pet

Cat with festive collar

It may be quite tempting to dress up your pet but wearing a costume inhibits the animal’s ability to move and communicate through natural body language such as tail wagging or positioning their ears. Costumes can cause pets to overheat as well.

Pets can still join in on the festivities by wearing a Halloween-themed collar or go for a walk on a leash with a spooky pattern.

Watch: BC SPCA manager, animal welfare Kim Monteith offers expert advice about how to keep pets safe and happy this Halloween.