Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween Special: 8 Top Tips for pet safety

I will shortly be doing a post on Fireworks Night for pets, which, due to November 5th falling right in the middle of the week is going to span the whole week with various displays, but we have another spooky evening happening first to think about!

Halloween is very popular with our transatlantic cousins and increasingly popular in the UK, with a love of trick or treating, costumes and all things ghostie and ghoulie.  Some of us take our pets trick or treating with us (this is me in my costume, ready to go!), but there are some things we can do, particularly if we have a pet of a nervous disposition, to make the evening less stressful for them.

  • First of all, even if you are not doing anything yourself, pets can find strangers coming to the door (especially when in strange costumes) unsettling and stressful.  Give them a quiet safe place they can go to, and make sure if you DO answer the front door, that they don't dash out.
  • Following on from that, if they were to dash out of the front door, or if you are taking your dog trick or treating with you, ensure they have their tags on (remember, in the UK it is a legal requirement - remind yourself of what is required here).
  • Putting pets in costumes is a very emotive topic that isn't for discussion here, but certainly don't force the issue if your pet is uncomfortable or stressed by it.  Any costumes you do use, make sure they are comfortable, non-restrictive, and are of strong construction and safe materials.  The bat costume I am wearing in the photo is just like my waterproof suit from Zooplus in cut, it just happens to have wings and googly eyes on it!
  • Even the most confident of dogs can be a little unnerved by strange Hoomans dressed in weird and wonderful costumes.  Don't let little children take control of the  lead when walking house to house, but keep the lead under the custody of a responsible adult!
  • NO HALLOWEEN CANDY!  We should all know that chocolate can be toxic to dogs, and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and xylitol are also not good for them - make sure that children or well meaning strangers are not trying to slip your dog a Halloween treat, which turns out to be more of a trick.
  • Be careful with those Halloween decorations - lit candles can be knocked over, wires and cables can be chewed.  Make sure your Halloween decor is pet safe!
  • Be careful with the pumpkin - some pets find it difficult to digest when raw which can lead to stomach upsets.   Intestinal blockage when large pieces have been consumed has been known.
  • Lastly, keep all pets supervised.  Cats (black cats especially due to superstitious association) have been known to be targeted by Halloween pranksters, in some very horrible ways - better to keep them safe and make them indoor cats for a while.  This has also happened to other pets, so we would extend this to not leaving dogs unsupervised in your garden until Halloween is over.

We will be follwoing up soon with a Fireworks Night special - in the meantime, we wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween! 

And don't forget, take a wander over to our Facebook page, where we will be holding a little photo contest for the best Halloween photo, starting at 16:00 GMT today and running through to Sunday!


  1. Excellent tips, thank you
    Lily & Edward

  2. Great tips Lottie and funny as over here black cats are lucky so no problem there. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

    1. We are UK too Molly, and have sadly seen all to many warnings on UK Veterinary websites warning of this :-(

  3. One of the loveliest little red devils I've seen.
    Black cats are really lucky, that's why I have one of my own.
    Luvs Freya Rose Blossom x

  4. You look adorable in your costume, Lottie! This is a great post! Fortunately for us, we don't get the trick or treaters and we are very happy about that!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  5. Fabulous tips. Brown dawgs are not too fond of costumes so we just do a little bit. Thanks so much for joining the hop!