While lots of us will enjoy Halloween, it can be a stressful time for pets.
With more knocks on the door, people dressed in strange costumes, lots of sweets and chocolate about, along with pumpkins, candles, glow sticks and other hazardous decorations, it's important to ensure you keep your pets and your home safe during this time.
Trick or Treaters
Do you have a dog who gets stressed every time the doorbell goes? Or perhaps, your dog is a flight risk?
Disconnect the doorbell
Keep your dog shut in a separate room when answering the door to prevent any unfortunate escapes
Not up for trick or treaters? Pop a polite note on your door such as...
' NO TRICK OR TREATERS - FRIGHTENED DOG, PLEASE DO NOT KNOCK.'
Or, if you would like to still take part but not have the door knocked, consider leaving out a bowl of sweets with a sign asking children to help themselves to a few without having to knock on the door!
Halloween is a time for children to have fun dressing up as their favourite scary character. But this can be very frightening for dogs as they don't understand why you smell like their people, but don't look like them. Masks and scary face paint mean they're unable to read facial expressions which can cause them to be wary and frightened.
Let's not forget a frightened dog may react out of character if they feel threatened!
Walk your pet at a time that avoids trick or treaters
Don't let people in costumes approach or touch your dog.
Lock them away in a separate room when trick or treats come knocking
Having a Halloween Party? Give you pet a safe space to rest, away from all of the noise and costumes
Dressing your dog up may sound like fun, but most importantly make your dog is happy to do so. If not, a bandana or themed collar is a good compromise!
Sweet and Chocolates
It wouldn't be Halloween without chocolates and 'candy' (as our friends across the pond say!) and it's likely that if you're taking part in trick or treating, you'll have a bowl of some treats ready and waiting by the door.
However, sweets containing Xylitol and chocolate which contains Theobromine can be very dangerous and, if consumed in large amounts, deadly to dogs.
If your dog consumes any chocolate or sweets containing Xylitol contact your vets immediately for advice.
Keep sweet bowls well out of reach
Ensure children do not give pets any chocolates or sweets
Pick up any treats or wrappers that may be dropped on the floor
Consider putting your pet in another room whilst they're being eaten if they are prone to stealing food
Make sure your dog has a solid 'drop' and 'leave' cue word - practise this lots beforehand!
Pumpkins are non-toxic to dogs and can actually be a tasty treat for them, so if your dog takes a nibble there's no need to worry - unless they're past their prime and mouldy of course!
Pumpkins also usually equal candles - so make sure they're kept out of reach so that they're not accidently knocked over or eaten!
Keep glowsticks out of reach
Ensure electrical cables cannot be accessed
Unplug any lights etc when you're not home