Unfortunately this time of year can be very distressing for our pets. We’re coming up to Halloween at the end of the month, which means firework season. We’ve put together some points to help pet owners through this period.
- First up is identification. Just incase the worst does happen and your pet gets scared by fireworks or trick-or-treaters and runs off – please make sure they have a collar & tag with their details on it that are up to date. We also recommend having your pet microchipped. It is now law to have your dog microchipped so this would be a good time to do this or check the details are correct.
- Don’t keep pets outdoors during Halloween and if possible the weeks in the run up to it. People tend to let fireworks off during these weeks, so is best to be prepared. Keep pets indoors, in a safe quiet place where they feel secure & happy. Maybe a crate if they crate trained, their bed or a cosy corner. Make sure this area is not in a room which is constantly be disturbed by callers and an open door. It should be an inner room if possible where fireworks and loud noises are muffled. Having the radio or TV on can help drown out external noise.
- Try to make sure your pets aren’t left alone if they are distressed during this period. If they look for reassurance due to loud noises and bangs try to ignore this behavior and carry on as if everything is normal. We know is may be difficult to do. But we don’t want your pet picking up on your anxiety which could possibly make the situation worse.
- Don’t take pets trick-or-treating or even out and about after dark on Halloween night. Dogs can become very stressed and confused by all the noise and activity with strange smells, costumes and loud bangs from fireworks.
- We don’t advice dressing your pet in halloween costumes. Although some pets put up with this – none really enjoy it.
- Don’t let pets near bonfires, halloween decorations, candles or other dangerous items. Dogs & cats can accidentally knock over candles with their tails and cause fires or burn themselves.
- Don’t let pets near any Halloween treats/chocolate/sweets. It is poisonous for them. Do tell children not to share their sweets with the pets. If you think your pet has ingested any chocolate then please contact your vet immediately.
- Do make sure any small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits are moved indoors if possible, away from the sights and sounds of fireworks. Alternatively covering the hutch/cage with a thick fabric to muffle the sounds is an option – do make sure there is stilll plenty of ventilation.
- Do talk to your vet if your pet gets very scared from fireworks as there is a variety of treatments and medications that can help. Don’t wait until the fireworks are going off to talk to your vet as some products need time to work, ie they take a week for the pet to feel the effects. DAP diffusers, Thundershirts and CDs are all great products to help with firework anxiety.
- Finally – do keep a look out for animal abuse or cruelty and report any cases to your local SPCA.
By no means are these tips exhaustive. If you have any of your own please pop them into the comments! =)