In her latest column, North Bend resident and pet trainer at Le Chic Pet, Melissa Grant, offers tips for keeping your pets happy, safe and without stress this Halloween night – and shares some great
Halloween is a fun time for humans – and sometimes for pets.
I dressed Lola up for her first Halloween. She didn’t appreciate it, but some dogs and cats seem to relish donning a costume. Be sure to follow these simple rules if you decide Fido should be Superman, or a bat, or a Knights Steed (Pictures below).
- Make sure the costume doesn’t restrict their movement. A trapped feeling dog or cat can be a cranky dog or cat.
- Don’t leave them alone while wearing their costume. Elastic can pinch or be a choking hazard. They may chew and ingest part of their costume.
- Don’t dye their coat. Even if a dye says it’s nontoxic to humans, it could still be a hazard to your furry friend.
- Make sure your pet doesn’t overheat. Pay attention and take the costume off if they appear too hot
- Try it on before the big night. If your pet seems distressed by wearing a costume, get a fancy collar and let him wear his birthday suit.
Trick-or-Treat Stress for Pets
The part of Halloween people enjoy the most are the children ringing the doorbell in their fabulous costumes, but that can be extremely stressful for animals. Unless your dog is extremely obedient and social, keep him or her away from the door during peak trick or treating hours.
Costumes can be frightening for pets. If your pet is loose during trick-or-treat hours, be sure he does not dart outside and escape. If you take your pet for a walk, be aware your formerly friendly pet may not be so friendly with kids in costume.
Some trick or treaters can be particularly cruel – so black cats should be especially well-supervised and kept indoors. Be sure your pet is tagged and/or micro-chipped in case something should happen.
Halloween Hazards for Pets
No trick or treating for pets! We all know what chocolate can do, but did you that Xylitol, a sugar substitute, can also cause problems? Glow sticks and glow jewelry can also be toxic. Keep the vet’s phone number and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s phone number handy (888) 426-4435. Be sure that bowl of goodies is well out of your little dog bats reach.
Watch out for costumed pets and lit candles or jack o lanterns. Your dog may usually be savvy around fire, but unaware that his bee wing is too close when costumed. A cat or kitten can also knock over a candle and start a “not-so-festive” fire.
By all means have fun, but be aware of how your furry friend is feeling and make sure he feels safe a comforted on a potentially scary night. Woof and Boo!