Halloween is a fun time for families and pets, but there are some important things to keep in mind during the month of goblins and ghouls.
Pet Costumes: Yay or Nay?
Dogs, cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs look pretty darn cute dressed as pumpkins, but what might be adorable to humans isn't necessarily in the best interest of the animal.
Before dressing up your pet, run-through this check-list to make sure the costume is pet-approved. If the answer is yes to all of the questions, then maybe Spot can pose with the pumpkins this Halloween.
- Does the pet abstain from any signs of fear or anxiety while wearing the outfit?
- Was the pet dressed without putting up a fight?
- Is the pet abstaining from trying to pull the costume off?
- Is there ample room to move normally while wearing the costume?
- Is the outfit free of small, ingestible pieces?
Ringing doorbells, scary costumes, and haunted sound effects can put anyone into a tizzy, especially animals who have no idea what is going on. Just like fireworks season, Halloween can be a loud, anxiety-inducing holiday for pets. Try these calming tips around the trick-or-treating hours:
- Ear plugs (if your pet allows) or a sound-proofed room
- Acupuncture before and after
- Calming herbs and supplements
- ThunderShirts (or swaddling for rodents and rabbits)
Beware the Candy!
Getting your dog out for a walk alongside all the trick-or-treaters could offer some exercise and entertainment, provided the pooch doesn't get spooked. But when the candy buckets are emptied, make sure you have an eye on your animal's whereabouts.
Cats are intrigued by the noise of candy wrappers while dogs might be drawn to the smell enough that either animal ingests a piece of candy whole--wrapper and all. This can cause intestinal blockages or stomach upset as well as toxicity if gum or chocolate is the candy of choice.
While the kids divvy up their earnings, think about putting the dog or cat in a room with a toy--such as a peanut butter kong or some catnip. This will keep them distracted and stimulated. When the night is over, be sure to gather up all the candy and wrappers and store them properly out of the pet's reach.
We wish all of our clients and patients a Happy Halloween!