How to Create the Purr-fect Howl-oween for your Pets!

Can you smell the whiff of mischief in the air? Halloween season is coming! Although Halloween is the time of year that most children and adults enjoy, pets may see things differently. The costumes, the smells, the sounds which make Halloween a treat for us can overwhelm pets. Here are ways to keep Halloween fun and safe for your furry friends!

Make Sure Costumes Are Simple, Safe and Comfortable for Your Pet

A pets favorite costume is usually no costume at all, but if you decide to put a costume on your pet, be sure the costume…

  •  Is loose fitting and allows the pet to move freely
  • Doesn’t cover his eyes or ears or tangles his legs
  • Is free of loose ends or pieces that can come off and become a choking hazard.

Keep the costume simple and allow for an easy on easy off type of costume. Try on the costume a few times before Halloween night to ensure a stress-free experience for your pet. It’s estimated that half of pet owners dress their pet up for Halloween, so if your pet is willing have fun!!!


Get Your Pet Ready for Halloween Night

Even if your pet is used to lots of company at your home, your doorbell will ring much more on Halloween! To help your pet feel more comfortable with the hoards of Trick-or-Treaters that some neighborhoods have…prepare them in advance. A few weeks before Halloween start working with your pets to create a positive association with the doorbell. Try having friends or family members ring the doorbell every time they come in your house and reward your pet for not barking or reacting to it! Always make sure your pet is wearing their collar and that their identification information is up to date.

Keep An Eye on Halloween Decorations

A jack-o-lantern is very festive indeed, but one with a lit candle inside can be a fire hazard. Invest in flame free candles to use instead as cats will become especially curious and can become easily burned. Pumpkins are relatively non toxic to pets, but pets that nibble on them can experience some stomach upset!

Stash the Treat

Keep all Halloween treats away from your pets. Chocolate in all forms (especially dark) can be very dangerous to dogs and cats. Sugar-Free candies containing the sugar substitute Xylitol can cause serious issues in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, call your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Some Final Tips

If your pet wants nothing to do with Halloween and need a little more comfort make them a soothing space in a room away from all the commotion. Some ways to make sure your pet feels safe and comfortable during the flurry of visitors….

  • Put your pet in a room with a TV on that will drown out the noise of trick-or-treaters and
  • Purchase a calming wrap or a calming aid for your pet. Our Calm Down is up to 50% off through Halloween for those furry friends who may need it!
  • Use their crate if they are crate-trained.
  •  Put a family member in charge of keeping an eye on your pet…some exercise before
    company arrives will make your pet more sleepy too!
  • Try a treat-release toy to keep your pet occupied.

Whether you dress your pet up, stay home or have guests, these tips will help keep Halloween
from being a spooky experience for your pet! Happy “Howl-oween”!!!

Posted in

Dr. Chris Vanderhoof, DVM, MPH

Chris is a seasoned veterinarian with over 15 years of animal health experience in small animal, large/farm animal, equine, and public health fields.

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