Halloween is a time when some pet owners worry about their animals becoming agitated as a result of the extra volume of people and noise in and around the home.
Halloween is an important time to take additional precautions to ensure that our pets remain healthy and happy as we celebrate.
Safe and sound
Consider keeping your pet indoors on Halloween. Many adoption agencies and animal shelters will not allow the adoption of black cats at this time of year—some for the entire month of October.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), shelter workers have witnessed abused cats that have been burned and poisoned by humans. The HSUS also reports that less than five percent of cats taken in by animal shelters are ever reunited with their families.
There are no concrete statistics on how many animals are stolen from their owners each year, as police don’t make a distinction between property theft and pet theft. However, the pet registry PetLynx reports that in Canada approximately one million animals go missing each year. SPCA International also reports that pet theft is on the rise and theft reports have quadrupled since 2007.
This Halloween, be sure your pets are wearing collars and ID tags in the event that they escape out the door when you open it for trick-or-treaters. There’s no reason why this spooky time of year can’t be fun for every family member.
Candy and chocolate can be extremely harmful to pets, so keep all human treats away from your animals. Chocolate is toxic to pets and candy wrappers can be easily swallowed and may cause harm or choking. Reward your pet with its favourite treats instead.
Doggy or kitty dress up
Keep in mind that many animals will become stressed and uncomfortable in costume. If you choose to put your pet in a Halloween getup, remember these tips:
- Choose a costume that doesn’t restrict vision, movement, hearing, or ability to breathe, bark, or meow.
- Choose a costume that doesn’t have small or dangling pieces that are easily chewable to prevent the possibility of choking.
- If you’re going to put a mask on your pet, make sure it doesn’t interfere with Fido’s or Kitty’s peripheral vision. Animals depend on their sight to know what’s going on around them at all times.
Protect your pets at Halloween
- Keep pets indoors in a safe, less noisy part of your home and check on them frequently.
- Keep pets away from lit candles and all other dangerous Halloween items and decorations.
- Educate children not to share their treats with their four-legged friends.
- Take a pet suspected of eating or drinking anything harmful to a veterinary clinic or animal hospital immediately.
- Avoid taking pets trick-or-treating with you. If they must come along, make sure they have updated ID and are always on a leash.
- Don’t ignore animals in need. Report any signs of animal abuse and neglect to your local authorities or to the Humane Society of Canada at 1-800-641-KIND (5463).