By Karin Krisher
We humans usually like our holidays. They feel good. Tradition is fun, most of the time. But our pets don’t always have the same associations with holidays that we do. In fact, holidays are a major source of stress for many dogs and cats. With one coming up next week, we wanted to take time out to share our tips to keep your pets safe and stress-free on Halloween.
1. Separate Them From The Fray.
Pets don’t usually like to be in the thick of things, especially when “things” means young children donning scary masks and wings. On Halloween, keep a gate up in the house so pets won’t be the trick or treat-er greeters. It’s OK for them to see into the room, but separation is a surefire way to ensure safety for both children and cats and dogs.
If you do want your pet to go out on the town with you and your children, be sure you’ve accurately assessed his or her personality, and that it is one that can handle the hubbub. Be prepared with clear identification and a plan to get them back to the house quickly should the need arise.
2. Candy is Dandy, But Not For Them.
There’s going to be a lot of candy around. Don’t risk your pets’ health just to have it close at hand. It’s OK to put the candy on a high shelf if you don’t have a cat, but it’s best kept in a cupboard they can’t access.
3. Decorate Appropriately.
You don’t have to skimp out on any of your decorations, but if you have a pet, there are a few considerations as far as location and type. Examples? Don’t string cobwebs everywhere if the dog wants to eat them. Leaving a lit jack-o-lantern where it can be brushed or tipped over by your pets is never a good plan. And the same goes for strings of lights: it’s important they aren’t a stress factor or a fire or choking hazard.
Composure Chews are a perfect way to support stress reduction when things are a little spooky around the house. They’re delicious, so cats and dogs will feel like they’re getting a Halloween treat, and they support calming and relaxation without effecting changes in personality. Vetri-Science even makes a fast-acting human version!
5. Be Mindful Of Their Dress.
If you do want to dress up your pet, and they seem agreeable, be mindful. Don’t dress them in a costume that will make them itch. Don’t choose a material to which they might have an allergy. Be sure they can move freely. Be sure there are no small parts the cat or dog can get their curious little mouths on.
And don’t dress them in something totally ridiculous. (But if you do, take a picture and share it on our Facebook page.)