Ding-Dong. . . tips and tricks when the trick-or-treaters arrive
Halloween is DEFINITELY one of my favorite holidays. It conjures up memories of trick-or-treating; walking through the rustle of the freshly fallen leaves and collecting as much candy as you can to go home and sort your stash for trade with siblings or friends the next day at school. It was a blast seeing all the costumes and creativity that your fellow classmates came up with and the general excitement of being out at night running around the neighborhood with friends. What I didn’t rea
lize is that while I was enjoying the spooky and splendid holiday, my pets might have been home having nightmares.
It’s really hard to explain a costume to your cat or dog. They don’t understand the extra appendages you might have coming off of you or all that make up. They certainly cannot figure out why the darn doorbell keeps ringing every few minutes – the door opening to reveal even scarier dressed strangers!!!!!
There are several things you can do as a pet parent to make Halloween much better for your buddies. Here are some tips and tricks to reduce the stress for your furry housemates:
- Leave the dog at home for trick-or-treating. I know it seems like an awesome idea since you are going for a walk and will be standing back while the children run to the door to receive their bounty, but it’s not an easy thing for many dogs to understand. There are children running, screaming, dressed oddly, crying, candy falling and general chaos. While it seems ideal to get Max out to stretch his legs, leaving him at home is the better option.
- Don’t force your pet to dress up. Some do enjoy the extra additions but many do not.
No need to add any extra stress on such a crazy day.
- When you do leave your pup behind, make certain he and his kitty companion are secure in the house and have on their ID tags. Doggie doors are best left shut with your furred friends inside as trick-or-treaters are not always great about remembering to shut gates behind them.
- Keep your cat and dog secure when trick-or-treaters come to for the candy, you don’t need any trick-or-treater greeters! Dogs often like to rush the door and cats love to dart out – especially given the frequency that the door will be opening.
- Keep your pets away from the candy you have inside the house. Whether it’s to give out to the costumed crusaders or the stash the kids brought home, there are so many hidden dangers. The AKC (American Kennel Club) has provided a very helpful list of the most common ingested dangers for our pups. This list includes:
- Candies or gum containing xylitol
- Candy wrappers
- Glow sticks or glow jewelry
- Parts of costumes
6. The best thing you can do for your cat or dog is keep them safe and keep them busy. Give your dog something to chew on in a safe private room in the house and if your cat really loves something like that ball of tinfoil or that special spring toy, let them have it in their own safe spot in the house.
While Halloween is a blast for us, it clearly can be a scary disaster for our pets. Don’t let your pets become mischievous and attempt to trick-or-treat for themselves. Instead make it a great night for them with a special treat or toy, leave the TV or radio on and keep them safely stowed away in a comfortable place. And always remember to keep that candy out of their reach – maybe even yours! Be prepared for something to happen, know how to recognize signs of candy toxicity from chocolate, obstructions or even xylitol. Take the pet first aid and CPR class now, so you know what to do then.