Halloween is a big deal here in the United States. According to a survey by Statista, 70 percent of Americans enjoy participating in activities and traditions of this beloved holiday. After most of last year’s festivities were canceled due to the pandemic, get ready for trick-or-treaters to be out in force. You know who isn’t looking forward to the flurry of activity Halloween brings to the home? Pets! Even the friendliest dog or calmest cat can become stressed and anxious. Here are some tips on how to keep pets calm and safe.
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Pro Tip: We suggest administering midday, followed by a second round late in the afternoon when the little ones start making their rounds.
- Keep your pets inside and confined to a secure room (closed door, windows closed, or slightly cracked open). Create a sanctuary with your pet’s favorite bed or blanket, a couple of toys, food, water and a litter box for cats. Turn on music or television – something to provide a soothing background sound.
Pro Tip: YouTube offers a wide selection of calming videos and music for dogs and cats.
- Avoid the constant ringing of the doorbell and children shouting “trick or treat” by providing a bowl of candy with a ‘please take one’ sign.
Pro Tip: Scare the heck out of kids by using your home security system to monitor the area. If a trick-or-treater takes more than one piece of candy, say “I saw that” or simply “boo!” LOL!!
- Keep pets away from chocolate. It is toxic because it contains theobromine and caffeine, two chemicals that pets cannot metabolize. Dark chocolate contains higher levels of both and can be more harmful. Many dogs love the taste and can sniff it out. Some dogs will even eat through bags to get at it. Any candy in your home should be secured and out of reach.
Pro Tip: Signs your pet has ingested chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination and a racing heart rate. Seek immediate medical attention.
- If you have a black cat, be extra vigilant on the days leading up to Halloween. Even with Black Cat Appreciation Day (August 17, 2021) and National Black Cat Day (October 27, 2021) helping to debunk old superstitions, some people still view black cats as bad luck and some go as far as to call them evil (as if!!). Please don’t take the chance of someone harming your kitty. Keep them inside.
Fun Fact: Black cats are considered good luck in much of Asia and in the United Kingdom. Learn more here.
Now that your pets are safe and stress-free, have a fun and happy Halloween!