Candy, costumes, parties and an all-around good time: Who doesn’t love Halloween? Well, not all pets may be thrilled. The ringing doorbells, strangely outfitted humans and a lot of unfamiliar noises may have dogs and cats on edge. And even those who are unfazed are at increased risk for eating the wrong thing or bolting out the door in all the commotion.
So now is a good time to think about some measures to keep pets safe and soothed for the upcoming holiday.
Hide the candy bowl
Cats and dogs are not meant to eat candy. There’s loads of sugar, which is worse for them than it is for us. Candy also may contain other harmful ingredients that can cause toxicity — including the sugar substitute Xylitol and stimulants like theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate. Plus, it’s a potential choking hazard. Bottom line: Hide the candy as soon as it enters the house. Keep it in a sealed food storage container in an out-of-reach spot inside a closed cupboard to make sure your pets don’t get curious.
Consider a compression vest
Most parents are familiar with the benefits of swaddling a baby. The concept can be extended to our pets to potentially provide relief from anxieties, including vet visits, thunder and festivities like Halloween. By providing gentle pressure, products like ThunderShirts may soothe pets and provide some relief. When using something like a ThunderShirt, make sure to slowly introduce wearing the shirt over a period of time before Halloween night. thundershirt.com
Try a rescue remedy
Bach flower remedies are a system of natural medicine developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the early part of the 20th century. Flower remedies, or essences, can be used in humans and pets to help ease various emotional issues. Rescue Remedy is five remedies designed for high-stress and crisis situations. Rescue Remedy Pet is gentle for pets and can be given internally or externally by rubbing it on the ears. bachflowerpets.com
Create a safe space
Pick a contained area of your home where you can create a safe environment for your pet. Place his favorite bed or cat condo and some treats there. Turn on the TV or play some calming music to help drown out the noise outside. Make sure your pet isn’t left alone, and make the environment as soothing as possible.
Keep black pets indoors
Black dogs and cats sometimes get a bad rap because of superstition related to their color. Because of this, it’s important to keep black pets indoors, particularly in October, to…