Vancouver is an outdoors city. That means activity (running, hiking, biking, going to the beach). It’s this kind of city, and these kinds of activities, that produce people who have pets. A lot of pets.
Metro Vancouver is brimming with everything from your average corner store pet shop or vet, to some sort of artisanal dog food shop producing treats that smell better than your own human food.
That’s how much we care about our pets.
In keeping with that spirit, we need to think about the city’s animals when we celebrate holidays, because we are loud – for them, frighteningly loud.
The worst offender is by far fireworks (a close second is ringing doorbells), and while recent bans on the sales and use of these explosives will inevitably cut down on this Halloween’s booms and bangs, it won’t quiet them completely, and your pet won’t know the difference anyway. So how can you help that?
Here is what the BC SPCA has advised on how to make your animals are safe:
Keep pets inside
Pets who are inside have fewer opportunities to confront trick-or-treaters. Some pets do well left in a separate room with the radio or television on to mask the sound of fireworks and trick-or-treaters.
Be sure to leave plenty of toys in the room for your pet so that he doesn’t think he’s being isolated as a punishment.
If your pet finds the doorbell disturbing, consider disconnecting the doorbell for the night.
Alternatively, you can leave a bowl of treats near the door outside where trick-or-treaters can help themselves. That way, they won’t knock or ring the doorbell – at least not until the bowl is emptied.
Make sure your pet is wearing identification. Dogs and cats may try to run away if they feel threatened. Clear, current identification is your best chance to have them returned to you.
Candy is for people
Candy can lead to health problems such as diabetes or obesity, and chocolate is especially dangerous because it contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and cats. Keep treats well away from your pets.
Leave home without them
If you think it would be fun to bring your pet trick-or-treating, your pet may not share your view. The strange sights and sounds of Halloween can cause a normally friendly dog to bite if it feels scared or threatened.
Don’t costume your pet
Dressing your dog in a costume inhibits their ability to communicate, making them prone to display aggression or be subjected to aggressive behaviour from other dogs.