Helping your pets through Halloween
Like so many other annual traditions, Halloween was adapted from a pagan festival, called Samhain. Adopted by Christians as ‘All Hallows' Eve’ Halloween always falls on 31st October each year, the day before All Hallows' Day, also known as All Saints' Day in the Christian calendar. The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows' Eve when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast of the Saints day that it preceded. Since then it has evolved into a culture of dressing up, knocking on doors and asking for sweets or playing a trick, an idea which became huge in the US and has in recent years permeated our own culture with hoards of children taking to the streets and attempting to frighten the bejesus out of each other!
Sadly this has a knock-on effect for our pets who may be frightened of things that go bump on the night, fireworks, loud noises, people in costumes and unexpected visitors knocking on the door - and some Halloween treats and decorations can be pretty hazardous too, which is why this week we’re looking at how to keep your pets safe this Halloween.
hihuahua Photo by Veronica on Pexels
Keep your Halloween treats safely stashed away
If your kids have been out trick or treating and come back with a haul of sweeties, make sure you keep them out of your pet’s reach. Some dogs may eat sweets with the wrapper on – or even eat wrappers that are left lying around and tinfoil in particular can be really hazardous if ingested. Chocolate is also not great for dogs, even a small amount of certain types of chocolate can be fatal. Some sweets also contain the sweetener Xylitol which can also be toxic for dogs and if you have any baked treats then make sure there are no raisins or other things that dogs mustn’t eat in there.
Hang em high
Put those decorations up high too! Unless you want your cats swinging off of them or chewing and swallowing potentially harmful pieces of plastic or tinsel which could cause an intestinal blockage.
Weimaraner Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels
Keep pumpkins and candles out of reach
If you’ve carved a pumpkin lantern or lit some candles then again, this should be kept out of reach so that your pet does not knock it over and cause a fire or burn their whiskers by giving it an inquisitive sniff. Cats can be particularly curious so make sure everything is out of paws reach and don’t leave it unattended. Once Halloween is done, a used pumpkin can make a great treat for birds, squirrels and other visitors to your garden but make sure you put it out of your dog’s reach as they may try to eat it too and get gassy or bloated.
Make them a safe space
If you live in area that gets a lot of trick or treaters, try making your pet a nice safe space in a quiet corner away from the front door. We also suggest doing this on fireworks night too. You could also cut down on the amount of people knocking on our door by simply putting sweets out on your doorstep or even better if you have a front garden, by your front gate, in order to reduce the amount of people knocking and upsetting you pets.
Ghost family Photo by Lisett Kruusimäe on Pexels
Keep them in if you can
If your cats like to stay out at night it could be a good idea to try and encourage them to come in for the evening and closing their cat flap so they are safe. Move their dinner time to before it gets dark outside to encourage them to come in a bit sooner.
If you have a dog that is easily frightened then make sure you walk them earlier in the day before it gets dark. Stay home with them if you can once it gets dark and keep the curtains closed and do your best to settle the down so that they don’t become stressed or anxious.
Will you be celebrating Halloween with your pets? Or hiding with them until the trick-or-treaters have gone? As always let us know in the comments, along with your top tips for surviving Halloween with your own furry friends!
Main pug photo by Ruyan Ayten on Pexels