fHalloween is less than a week away (where is the year going?) which means the neighborhoods will soon be filled with kids in costumes. While this holiday is usually a very fun family activity, a couple members of the family may find it downright scary.
For our dogs and cats Halloween may seem like something out of When Aliens Attack or The Purge, they don’t understand the concept of removable parts or dress-up. The team at Evans Family Pet Care in Marshall MN wants everyone to have a safe and fun Halloween, so we’ve put together a few tips for you.
If you have a cat that is both indoor and outdoor, please make sure to bring them in for Halloween night. Unfortunately, there are some that would play not so nice tricks on roaming kitties. This is especially true for black cats.
Once inside consider putting kitty in a quiet room, away from the door. Most cats would rather sleep away the evening quietly, than be bombarded by strange creatures at the door. Keeping your cat contained away from the action will also prevent him bolting out the door.
Halloween night is one night where identification is a MUST in case the worst happens and your cat does get scared and run. If your cat is microchipped, now is a good time to make sure the registry information is up to date. Consider purchasing a well-fitting safety collar for your cat as well, bright orange is not only festive for the season but makes hiding cats easier to spot. Write your phone number with a marker on the collar so you don’t have to worry about tags getting snagged or lost.
For dog owners
Just as with cats, safe inside is best for our dogs too. Even the friendliest, best behaved dogs can find children in costumes downright scary and may act on that fear in ways you wouldn’t expect. No one wants to spend the evening in the ER or dealing with law enforcement and quarantine.
If you want your dog to be part of the action, keep him on leash so he can’t bolt out the door or use a baby gate to keep him back away from the door. Be sure you are watching your dog for signs of stress, some of which can be very subtle.
If your dog is showing signs of stress, or you have a fearful or reactive dog, be prepared with some long-lasting chews and put your dog in a quiet room away from the action. As much as we all want our dogs to be part of things, we always need to keep their mental health and the safety of everyone in mind too. Forcing your dog to participate in scary things isn’t fair to him, and believe me when I say Buddy isn’t going to be sad he missed little Johnny dressed as Superman.
If you must take your dog trick or treating with the family, again make sure the experience isn’t stressing him out. Also, leave your retractable (flexi) leash at home and go with a sturdy, fixed length (6ft max.) nylon or leather leash. Retractable leads pose a safety risk to others and should your dog get scared and bolt can easily break.
Again, in case the worst happens and your dog does run away, be sure microchip information is up to date, and that he has ID tags. As with cat collars you can also write your number on the collar with marker as an added safety net.
Make sure your children know they are not allowed to tease dogs, it is not funny to scare dogs and can be dangerous as well.
Practice being a tree, should a strange dog approach them they should stand still like a tree until someone gets the dog or it goes away. Running will only excite the dog more.
All of us at Evans Family Pet Care in Marshall MN hope these tips help everyone have a safe and Spook-tacular Halloween!
More safety tips and tricks can be found at these links:
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