AH-HOOO! As Halloween is right around the corner, I’m howling like my ancestor wolves and notifying my pack of safety tips. Hear me bark out 7 tips on how to keep your precious dogs and cats safe on Halloween:
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#1 Choose a costume WITH CARE
Humans LOVE dressing up for Halloween, but that doesn’t mean animals love it (or even like it) too. They are probably not as eager as you are to dress up like a pumpkin or Simba from the Lion King. Sure, humans are easily in awe with cute costumes for their dogs and cats, but please recognize that most animals wouldn’t dress up if they had a choice (especially cats). Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting the PERFECT costume for your best friends:
a) Have them TRY ON multiple costumes
Please make sure that they try on at least 3 costumes before you make the final selection. Observe their behavior and mannerisms in each costume for at least 3 to 5 mins. Choose wisely with your furry best friend in mind as cuteness is NOT everything!
b) Check for movement restriction
Anything tight or heavy is torture for animals. Questions to ask – Can they move freely in the costume? Can they sit, walk, run, stretch, and lay down like they normally do?
c) Check for comfort
Do they appear comfortable or confident? Is their tail upright to exemplify confidence? Are they trying to get out of the costume? If so, that is a sure sign that they are NOT comfortable. NEXT!
d) Observe their breathing
Again, tightness and heaviness can be torture; make sure the costume is LOOSE enough so it doesn’t hinder their ability to breathe naturally.
#2 MONITOR their costume wear at all times
NEVER leave your dog or cat in any costume unattended (no matter how comfortable they may look). Please watch them closely in case they’re struggling to get out of the costume due to discomfort.
#3 TAKE OFF the costume after a few hours
Animals should NOT be wearing costumes for more than a few hours. The longer they are in them, the more uncomfortable they could become. Remember to TAKE THEM OFF!
#4 Give them their OWN TREATS
Snickers and Kit Kat for dogs? No way! No human treats for dogs, please. Human treats are tricks for dogs, NOT treats. Keep them healthy and safe by offering them mouthwatering dog-edible treats.
#5 Keep them safe INDOORS
Halloween night can be a crazy night with youngsters and pranksters out and about. Obnoxious kids and ruthless teenagers who are up to no good are likely to carry out cruel and vicious pranks on animals; therefore, please make sure your dogs and cats are safe and sound INDOORS. If you expect a huge turnout of trick-or-treaters, you should put your precious animals in a separate area where they cannot run to the door every single time the doorbell rings. Sadly, black cats historically bore the brunt of sadistic Halloween pranks due to folklore and superstition. If you have a black cat, remember to take an extra precautionary step to keep him/her safe and away from potential abuse. If you take your dogs (or cats) out to a Halloween party or event, keep them safe with you at all times.
#6 Keep them AWAY from HAZARDOUS decorations
Scarecrows, goblins, ghosts, skeletons, coffins, pumpkins, etc. – nowadays, you can find moving, talking, and glow-in-the-dark EVERYTHING. Halloween decorations are certainly fun, but dogs and cats do not necessarily understand what they are, especially when these strange decorations appear suddenly at their home. It’s difficult to predict whether they would be fearful or curious. If they are not fearful, they may think of them as toys. Pumpkins (whether lit up by real candles or electricity), extension cords, lights, color sprays, and other decorations pose real dangers to animals if left unattended. The last thing you want is for them to injure themselves by chewing on electronics and plastic. 🙁
#7 ID THEM
Halloween can be an extremely stressful time for animals at home; all the commotion, decorations, strangers, noise, doorbells, etc. Again, they may not understand what’s going on and can react to stress differently. Make sure your furry friend is micro-chipped with an ID tag before the big night in case they ever get lost from home.
Have a fun and safe Halloween! Hope you can keep your dogs and cats safe this Halloween with these 7 tips. If you have tips of your own, please share by leaving a comment below.
Want more dog care tips? Follow my alpha barks HERE!
Markin’ it up,
Roger Wellington a.k.a. The Doob