With Halloween night just days away, people of all ages are looking for safe ways to celebrate, whether that means scary movies, costumes, or eating their weight in candy.
Another inevitable for the Halloween season is fireworks, and while there are many that enjoy the spectacle, there are many animals (and people) who don’t.
Here are some tips to plan ahead and help your pet remain happy and calm throughout the Halloween festivities.
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Leave your animal friends at home
As much as one might want to bring their pet everywhere, on the case of Halloween night, it’s best to leave them at home. Hours of fireworks, doorbells, and people in costume can be a source of fear and anxiety for your animal partners.
Keep them inside
By keeping your pet inside, there are fewer opportunities to confront trick-or-treaters. If your home is likely to be near any source of fireworks, consider keeping your pet in a room without windows – they’ll still hear the fireworks, but at least they won’t be able to see them.
Dog daycare = safe space
Instead of battling to try to keep your dog calm at home with the chaos of trick-or-treaters and fireworks, consider taking your dog to another low-stress environment altogether. Some dog daycares, like Jet Pet Resort, stay open until 10 pm and offer a calming environment for your pup to hang out with other dogs.
Keep them identified
As loud noises accumulate and anxiety builds up, pets – especially cats and dogs – may try to run away. In case they do manage to escape, it’s essential that they have some form of identification on them and that it’s up to date. So keep those collars on — and make sure that they have updated ID!
Be mindful if you decide to put a costume on them
It’s tempting to dress up your pet — after all, the costumes are adorable. If you choose to dress your pet up, however, be mindful of whether or not the costume inhibits the animal’s ability to move or communicate. Some costumes can prevent an animal from moving their tail or positioning their ears, and some can cause them to overheat.
If you absolutely decide to dress them up, stick to something simple, that won’t inhibit their movement or ability to regulate temperature. And remember, you can always give them a spooky leash or collar.
Keep candy away
While you may enjoy spoiling your pet with human food (and they likely enjoy it as well!) candy can lead to a number of health problems such as diabetes and obesity. Chocolate can poison pets.
“Chocolate is especially dangerous because it contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and cats,” says the BC SPCA. Instead, check your local pet supply store for some pet-friendly treats!
Tire your pet out
Your pet is more likely to remain calm if they’re tired. Whether that means taking them on a walk before the fireworks start or playing with them and their favourite toy, even a little time spent beforehand can make a huge difference.
Feed them plenty of food beforehand
Having a full stomach will also help your pet remain calm. Once external noises set in, your animal will become more high-alert, making it harder to feed them or give them water.
Give them something to do
In whatever way you can, distract your pet. Surround them with their favourite toys for the evening or even consider playing music or a television show in the background to drown the external noise out.