For such a fun and exciting holiday for humans, pets can often times feel stressed and anxious on Halloween. Imagine a dog that is used to quiet evenings getting jumpy after hearing the doorbell go off for the 30th time in a night. Only to open the door to groups of kids wearing elaborate costumes and shouting “Trick or Treat!” Here are some tips for making the night easier for your furry best friend:
- For dogs that get nervous with visitors, keep them in a comfortable place in the house. Even turning up a television or radio in that area can help them calm down. If your pet is greeting trick or treaters with you, make sure they have an appropriate collar with ID tags and up to date contact information in case they make a dash for the door.
- Store candy (especially chocolate) out of reach of dogs, even if they’re normally trustworthy. Even a small amount of chocolate can make a dog very sick and require emergency veterinary care. Wrappers are often ingested by dogs who get access to candy- make sure the kid’s candy buckets are stored appropriately. Add xylitol, raisins, and high calorie treats to the list and you have a recipe for disaster if your pet gets into the candy bowl.
- Avoid the urge to dress up your pet if they get anxious with clothing or boots. Many dogs are not comfortable with silly costumes and as cute as it may be for us pet parents, it may not be in the best interest of your dog or even cat! If you do choose to dress them up, plan a time before Halloween to see if they adapt well to the costume before all the added activity on Halloween night. Make sure the costume or headpiece doesn’t cover their vision; sometimes unusual biting or snapping can occur if they can’t see well.
- Use LED lights in pumpkins instead of votive candles- the risk of pets knocking over the pumpkins and starting a fire is real!
- Consider using a calmer like VetCS CBD Oil for dogs or VetCS CBD Oil for cats 30 minutes to an hour before anticipated door bell ringing; CBD is known to help with anxiety and can make the holiday a lot more tolerable for your canine or feline friend.
- Remember- if your pet is very anxious, consider skipping the holiday by leaving the porch lights off or placing a bowl far away from the front door for trick or treaters. Additionally, newer digital doorbells (like the Ring doorbell) allow you to control volume and even silence the door bell noise if you’ve decided not to partake in the festivities. Your 4-legged best friend will appreciate your consideration!