Pet safety on Halloween is important for a pet safe holiday

Many of us anticipate the celebration of Halloween all year long. For children and adults alike, the costumes, treats, and parties surrounding Halloween can be great fun. But this holiday can be particularly spooky for our pets. Blue Valley Animal Hospital looks at some ways to make “Fright Night” both safe and fun for pets as well as the entire family.

Pet Safety on Halloween

Here are a few tips and tricks to think about when it comes to pet safety on Halloween.

Leave your pet at home – you may be tempted to bring your dog along with you on the neighborhood trick or treat route. But why expose her to all the chaos and potentially startling masks and costumes? Even a kid friendly dog used to his normal exercise route can be thrown off by extra people on the street in costume. Make sure you have an escape proof area so your pet doesn’t run out and become lost.

Be aware – if you do decide to take your dog with you trick or treating, keep him on a short leash and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid retractable leashes and keep him close to you. Try to guard against too many people petting him, as too much attention from strangers in strange costumes can agitate even the friendliest dog.

To acclimate him to decorations and sounds, use treat rewards whenever a decoration makes a noise. This will associate the sound with something positive to your dog.

Dress for success – even from home, your dog or cat can still participate in the festivities if they enjoy dressing up. Make sure costumes are safe, and are loose enough to allow freedom of movement without tripping up little feet. Make sure your pet’s costume does not interfere with vision, hearing, or breathing. You might choose a Halloween themed bandana for your pet to wear so they can still celebrate the holiday, even if they don’t enjoy costumes.

Provide a hide out – if you’re staying home to hand out candy to trick or treaters, consider letting your pet stay in a back bedroom or laundry room. The constant doorbell ringing and many visitors can fluster even a generally mellow dog or cat. Add a radio or white noise machine to mask the doorbell sounds and help your pet stay calm and secure.

Better yet, ditch the doorbell altogether. Set up a table outside where you can greet trick or treaters without the constant ringing bell setting off your dog. Or, place tape over your doorbell and set up a motion activated witch’s cackle or a doormat that makes a noise when stepped on, to alert you to trick or treaters without the ding-dong.