Halloween is here again and it’s time to celebrate all things ghoulish. Make sure your Halloween is filled with more treats than tricks by keeping in mind that your animal companion is surely not as accustomed to all the fiendish festivities as you are. Remember the 5 C’s to keep your celebrations fun and safe this Halloween – Costumes, Candy, Containment, Consideration, and Calm.
While it may seem like a great idea to dress up your animal in a fun costume, odds are that it isn’t his favorite thing to do. Our dogs and cats are already super cute and wearing the best outfits that nature provided them, so there’s really no need to add any further embellishments. But if you really want to show off your furry best friend in a costume, and you’re sure that he’s a willing participant, remember to make sure that the outfit is safe. Check that it doesn’t restrict your animal’s breathing, vision, hearing, and movement, and be sure that there aren’t any pieces that can be chewed off and ingested. Most importantly, never force your animal into a costume if he doesn’t want to wear it. This could end up with both of you getting hurt.
Just say no to candy for your animal companion. At the very least, candy will give your furry friend the tummy troubles. Worse, chocolate, or anything containing Xylitol, is toxic to dogs and can lead to much more serious complications than just indigestion. Be sure not to give any candy to your animal and prevent accidental ingestion by keeping candy bowls out of reach. Remember, also, to keep a watchful eye out for visitors who may leave candy unattended or offer your animal a piece without realizing the danger.
Consider keeping your animal companion in a room with a closed door or crating him for the evening. All that doorbell ringing and opening/closing of the front door might be motive and means for a nervous animal to escape. And if you are hosting a party, then definitely separate your animal from the guests. Not only could he get lost while you’re distracted, he may also get into something he shouldn’t, like a neglected candy stash.
Put yourself in your animal companion’s paws and think about what it must feel like to him to experience all those scary blow up decorations, flashing lights, running kids, and ringing doorbells. All the strange sights and unusual activity of neighborhood trick-or-treating or a party at your place could quickly and easily overwhelm an animal, who may respond in surprising ways, from hiding to running away to acting out. Know your animal’s temperament before deciding to bring him with you around the neighborhood and, as mentioned, keep him away from any parties.
While the mood outside may be one of unbridled excitement, create a calm, safe, and soothing space inside where your animal can get away from it all. Keep the lights dim, play soft music (a Classical for Pets playlist is a great choice), and occasionally cuddle up with your animal throughout the evening to reassure him that all is well. If your animal is particularly anxious over all the stimulation, try using Earth Animal’s Calmness Organic Herbal Remedy or our Emotional Balance Flower Essence. Both are all-natural solutions to reduce the effects of overstimulation around this holiday and other stressful times.
This Halloween, follow the 5 C’s to enjoy a scare-free holiday. Happy Halloween!