Halloween is a time to celebrate the darker nights, dress up and enjoy sweet treats, fireworks and bonfires. However, it can be a distressing time of year for animals and pets – particularly those living in urban areas. We have put together a list of some things to consider for the creatures in your life BOO!-low.
The noise from fireworks and bangers can be very frightening for your pets. Experts advise keeping them indoors in the days and weeks coming up to Halloween. They also recommend making sure they have a quiet, safe space inside where they can’t get out.
Putting on a radio or television in the room to distract them and dampen the noise from outside your home is also a good idea. If your pet sleeps in a cage or crate, add an extra heavy blanket for Halloween night.
It may seem counter-intuitive for pet lovers, but the DSPCA suggests not comforting your pet if it looks for reassurance after a loud noise. Carry on in a matter-of-fact way, otherwise your pet may feed off your anxiety and feel even worse.
From a fire safety perspective, it’s a good idea to chose LED-operated, fake flame candles when our furry friends are about. A cat or dog could knock over an open candle or lit pumpkin with its tail, which could start a fire as well as cause it an injury. It also goes without saying that you don’t let your pet near a bonfire or take it trick-or-treating, as doing either could be both distressing and dangerous.
Keep your pets away from any sweet treats collected on Halloween night. Consuming chocolate can make dogs extremely sick as it is toxic to them.
If your dog is particularly anxious or has reacted very badly to the noise of fireworks and bangers in the past, you may want to invest in a Thunder Shirt or ‘anxiety wrap’. These shirts apply a gentle, constant pressure on your pet and can have a very calming effect on dogs. Your local pet shop should stock them or a similar alternative.
Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with its name and phone number on it, as if it escapes in an agitated state it will be easier for you to be reunited. You should also get your dog microchipped to make identification more straightforward. It is a very simple procedure and your vet will have plenty of advice on how to proceed.
If your pet is displaying signs of extreme nervousness and anxiety, you may want to talk with your vet in advance and ask for advice or medication to help with your pet’s stress.
Finally, if your black cat is assisting a witch this Halloween, make sure it’s wearing feline ear defenders, a hi-vis vest and is strapped into its broom seat.
For further information call DSPCA at 01 499 4700