Animal Rescue · Holidays · Pets

Rescue Resource: Having a Howling Halloween

I recently returned from a wonderful 8-day Mexican vacation, where every day was in the 80’s and humid – just how I like it. However, upon my return to New England, I realized something – it’s fall. Not only is it fall here, but it’s almost Halloween. Between my vacation prep and the subsequent days laying out on the beach in Riviera Maya, I missed almost all of October.

So since we are just over a week away, most families will have their costumes sorted out and have made plans for the haunting holiday. However, it’s important to also think about your pets – this can be a stressful time for them with the groups of people in costumes constantly ringing your doorbell for hours at a time. Check out some top safety tips for keeping your pets calm and healthy during All Hallows’ Eve.

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Image via ASPCA

Top Safety Tips

  • Us humans love the tasty treats we get on Halloween – there’s no limit to the amount of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups I consume. However, these treats can be harmful (even deadly) to your furry friends. Keep your candy in a safe spot, both when handing it out to the trick-or-treaters and the bags (and bags…and bags…) full you’ll be bringing home after the night out. My recommended places: on top of the refrigerator or in a high cabinet.
  • If you’re letting your pet join the festivities by dressing up for the holiday, make sure you’re picking the right costume. Pets may become stressed when placed in different costumes. Though they may look extra cute dressed as a hot dog of unicorn, ensure your pets actually enjoy the costume as well (or at least aren’t phased by it).
  • Keep pets inside (and away from the door) throughout the night. There are many reasons for this:
    • Think about it from your pet’s POV – there are “scary” people coming up to your door constantly, for hours at a time. Ringing the doorbell, screaming, cheering, racing off, etc. This is a highly stressful time for them. Keeping your pets away from the door will help lessen the stress and potential fear. Consider keeping them in a familiar room (ex: your bedroom) away from the door, with the T.V. on low. If there’s a family member that can keep them company during this time, that would be ideal!
    • Do you have a black cat? This tip is especially important. Black cats have long been connected to Halloween, both in fear and admiration. Unfortunately, leaving your black cat outdoors during Halloween may lead to some trickery or pranks by the rowdy neighborhood kids. Keep your cat safe by keeping them indoors – if you have an outdoor black cat, start bringing him/her inside a few days before Halloween. That way, they can get used to the indoor life for a short amount of time.
    • Last but certainly not least, you may love your rambunctious pup more than life itself. But for the kids coming up to the door, they may be intimidated or downright scared of your dog (even if it does nothing except lay on the floor). You don’t want to become “that” house that kids are scared of on your street.
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Image via About.com

These are just a few safety tips to get you through the upcoming festivities. For more pet-friendly tips, check out PetMD‘s “10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets.”

Don’t have a furry friend of your own to cuddle with this Halloween? Check out your local shelter or rescue! Petfinder’s Animal Shelters & Rescues list is a great place to start.

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