The Humane Society of the United States would like to remind pet owners that humans aren’t the only ones susceptible to frightening activity on Halloween. Unusual activity such as constant doorbells, knocking and shouting can be very frightening to an animal.
The best place for pets on this occasion is a safe, quiet spot, well out of the way of the activities, says The HSUS. “It is important to think of Halloween from your pet’s perspective,” said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for the Companion Animal Section of The Humane Society of the United States. “a constant stream of strangers at the door, some “creatures” they’ve never seen before, or just a sharp increase in activity can be agitating or frightening.
For their comfort and safety, the most considerate thing you can do for your own pet is keep them away from the evening’s activities.”
To help people keep pets safe and happy on Halloween, the HSUS recommends taking the following precautions:
· Keep pets safely inside; away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities.
· Cats – black ones in particular – often fall victim to pranksters. Keep cats safely indoors. Click here for more information.
· Make certain that all pets are wearing collars with ID tags. Frequently open doors provide perfect opportunities for escape, despite an owner’s best efforts.
· Keep candy out of your pet’s reach. Candy can be harmful to pets and chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets.
· Decorations should be kept away from pets. Candle flames can potentially set fire to a pet’s fur. Dangling decorations should be kept in high places to avoid pet entanglement, choking and other potentially life-threatening hazards.
· The only costume most pets want to wear is their own furry birthday suit. Costumes and masks can increase their risk of injury by causing them to feel confined and restricting movement.
· If trick-or-treating is the name of your game – leave the family dog at home. Dogs can be difficult to control amidst all the commotion. A lost pet or dog bite will quickly end your Halloween fun.
· Use fake cobwebs sparingly outdoors on your trees and bushes. These may adversely affect both pets and wildlife. Small birds are especially vulnerable and can easily become entangled in the webbing.
Wild animals should be avoided to keep everyone safe. Nocturnal critters such as raccoons, opossums, and foxes wake up and venture out for food, and Halloween night is no exception. The best advice is to keep a safe distance between you and any animal you do not know, including cats and dogs.
Bats, a wild neighbor with a bad rap and a classic Halloween staple are, in reality, both interesting and beneficial creatures. Ironically, most bats, especially those in colder climates, have already found a nice cool, dark place to hibernate for the winter by Halloween night.
The Humane Society says by using the tips above we can all work together to keep our beloved pets and wild neighbors safe this Halloween.