Keep Your Pet Safe This Halloween

Halloween is an exciting time for us but can be a very scary time for our pets. The scary costumes, loud creepy noises and parties that give us so much enjoyment can, unfortunately, create an environment of anxiety and stress for cats and dogs. To top it off even more, forcing our pets that already suffer from anxiety into a costume that they are not used to can cause them to go past tipping point. 

Stress and anxiety is not the only concern at this time of year, sweets, lollies and chocolates also play a large part in Veterinary admissions.

 In saying this, there is no reason why Halloween cannot be enjoyable for the entire family… four and two-legged members.

 

 

 

WHAT TO DO TO KEEP THEM SAFE

 

    1. Don't feed your pets Halloween lollies, especially if they contain chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free lollies and gum);
    2. Make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag) in case he escapes through the open door while you're distracted with trick-or-treaters;
    3. Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets;
    4. If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable, doesn't have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn't interfere with your pet's sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while he/she is wearing a costume;
    5. Keep glow sticks and glow jewellery away from your pets. Although the liquid in these products isn't likely to be toxic, it tastes really bad and makes pets salivate excessively and act strangely;
    6. If your pet is wary of strangers or has a tendency to bite, put him/her in another room during trick-or-treating hours or provide him/her with a safe hiding place;
    7. Keep your pet inside.

     

     

    GETTING PETS USED TO A COSTUME

    As tempting as it is to rush home with the latest cat pumpkin costume or best policeman dog costume, it is extremely important that you approach the situation with calmness and caution.

    Getting your pet to comfortably wear a costume is the same as when you first tried to get your puppy to wear a collar or walk on the lead. It all takes time.

    So be sure to purchase your pets costume in ample time. To begin with, you want to introduce it to him while it is in your hand, let him sniff it, give him a treat and pat him, so that he always has a positive association with the costume.

    Once he is comfortable being around it, you can now put part or all (if it is small) of it on him. Remember to reward with treats and keep it positive. It may take a couple of goes before he lets you put it on completely.

    Now you can slowly increase the time that he wears it, from a few minutes at an hour. If he is comfortable wearing it then you are all set for Halloween.

    Some dogs do not need such a slow progression, but dogs and cats that suffer from anxiety will need you to go slow. Halloween itself is going to be an emotional event in itself for them.

    Some pets actually love wearing costumes!

     

    Pets that are already accustomed to wearing a jacket in winter will generally take to a costume much easier, but every pet is different and needs a different level of TLC. You know your pet best, take the time that they need to enjoy Halloween as much as you do. 

    We hope you have a safe, fun and spooky Halloween!

     Please share with us pictures of your pet dressed up on our social media.

     I would love to hear any feedback or experiences that you have!

     Source:

    https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/halloween.aspx

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