Halloween is a time for gobblins and giggles, trick or treats and thrills and chills. But lets not forget that all this can cause real panic and stress for our pets. Read on for our unspooky tips to keep them safe and calm this scary season.
Play noises inside your home
This might sound counter productive but it’s a great way to desensitise your pet to the loud noises. For a few weeks before, simply log onto You Tube to find fireworks sound effects. When you play these clips don’t play it up at full volume, keep it low and gradually increase the volume with each play. Make sure you are going about the house doing normal things or watching tv so that your pet mimics your non reaction to the noise.
Make sure your pet has one. In the event that your pet escapes during all the mayhem at least the microchip will make it easier for you both to be reunited. When your lost pet has been chipped and is brought to a vets, pet charity or some pet shops, the chip can be scanned showing that you are the owner and you can go get back your best friend.
A safe space
Fireworks banging, doorbells ringing and the streets full of giggling ghouls can be anxiety triggers for pets. Set up a private safe space in the house away from all the noise and activity. Let this space be an area that your pet can choose to retreat to instead of locking them away. Ideally this space would have their favourite toys , blankets and treats. Perhaps have the radio or tv playing in this area too, it will help to drown out some of the background noise. Think about getting an anxiety reducing spray, collar or plug in. These products can help to calm as they contain a synthetic form of a natural pheremone your dog or cat releases. Ask your local vet for more information.
We don’t want to be kill joys but please be aware that some pets do find costumes very stressful. If you do want to dress up your little fluffy please make sure it fits properly and is comfortable. Make sure that it doesn’t have pieces that can be easily chewed off, interfer with sight, hearing, breathing or moving and that they can open/close their mouths. Never leave your pet unsupervised while dressed up.
Trick, treat or toxin?!
Keep sweets and chocolates out of your pets reach. Chocolate contains the toxin Theobromine and sweets may contain the artificial sweetner Xylitol. Both dogs and cats can not break down these ingredients like humans can and so they cause a toxic build up in their system which can lead to severe poisioning. If you suspect your pet has eaten something toxic contact your vet immediately for advise. Teach children not to share their treats with their best furry buddy.
Keep them snuggled up indoors
This tip is self explanatory but we tend to think that the only time to keep them inside is for the evening of the 31st. This is not true. Lots of extra noise with “practice” fireworks and setting up areas for bon fires can start weeks in advance. Keep them indoors as much as possible in the lead up, especially for the week leading up to the 31st and the week afterwards. This will help prevent them getting spooked and running off getting lost.
Have a fang-tastic and spook-tacular Halloween from all of us at Petcare Vets