Halloween is great fun for children and adults alike, and many dogs enjoy it as well: going out trick-or-treating with their owners, greeting trick-or-treaters, and overall enjoying the unusual sounds, smells and activities. But to some dogs these things can be frightening, and the sweets and candles everywhere can pose a danger. The Irish SPCA has released advice to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being throughout the night.

“With unfamiliar noises such as fireworks, the ISPCA recommends walking you dog earlier than usual if possible. This will not only prevent stressful situations on your walk, but it will also mean that your dog will be ready for a rest in the evening and may not be as reactive to the doorbell and commotion later,” the advice reads.

If you know your dog is fearful of strangers, or simply dislikes strange people in odd clothes showing at the door, it may be best to ensure he has no access to the front door throughout the evening.

To reduce the risk of your pet escaping when people call to the door, ensure that they are in a secure room of the house where they can’t slip out an open door.

“The unusual noise and activity of Halloween can drive pets to extreme behaviour, and the ISPCA strongly recommend that your pets have ID tags and are also microchipped as a permanent form of identification,” the advice goes on. “This is a legal requirement for all dogs and puppies once 12 weeks old and also equines. While it is not a legal requirement for cats, it still gives you the best chance of being reunited with your pet in the event they escape.

All sweets should be kept well out of your pet’s reach: chocolate and raisins are highly toxic to dogs, and xylitol contained in some chewing gums can be potentially fatal as well.

“To reduce the risk of your pet escaping when people call to the door, ensure that they are in a secure room of the house where they can’t slip out an open door. You can leave a TV or radio on to drown out some of the noise of fireworks and children calling to the door. If you pet is truly terrified of fireworks and you are concerned about them, you may want to consult with your vet in advance, and ask them about training or medication to help with your pets’ stress.”

All sweets should be kept well out of your pet’s reach: chocolate and raisins are highly toxic to dogs, and xylitol contained in some chewing gums can be potentially fatal as well. Any treats your dog gets should be doggie ones, better yet if stuffed in interactive toys, such as a kong, in order to keep them busy and distract them from the noise and activity.

By following this advice you can ensure that your dog is relaxed and safe, keeping Halloween (or Howl-o-ween) night from turning into a real nightmare.

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