Halloween is almost here! Costumes, parties, and plans for the day are likely already in place, including costumes for our furry friends. It is becoming quite popular to dress up your dog and the occasional cat in addition to the traditional partying and trick-or-treating on Halloween night. It is an enjoyable time and being socially inclined, dogs (and the odd cat) are happy to be involved in the fun. New commercials on TV appear to encourage pets go out trick-or-treating with kids!
Again, all fun and enjoyment with the right pet, but remember there are pets (as are humans) that may not be lining up to be part of the dressing up or socialization.
Pet families know their pets the best and it is important to assess how involved your pet may like to be during Halloween, or what the families’ overall plans should be. Addressing the following should help you make this a happy Halloween for the whole family:
- Pets can get anxiety from firecrackers (noise phobia) – skipping fireworks or boarding your pet in a safe, quiet kennel for fireworks nights are ideas to consider.
- Taking your pet for trick-or-treating may increase their chances of ingesting chocolate or candy, which can be toxic to them. Adult supervision for both your child and your pet is advised.
- If trick-or-treating with pets, putting a leash on should help keep them safe.
- Strangers can be wary of unknown pets, no matter how friendly your pooch is!
- If you are giving out candy to kids or will have many visitors, ensure your pet will not escape with the frequently opening front door.
Once safety for everyone is taken in to account, all you have to decide is if your pet will be a superhero, a hot dog, a prisoner, or will simply skip the dressing up!
By – Dr. Bajwa,
Veterinarian at Hastings Veterinary Hospital, Burnaby.