Whether you have cats, dogs, gerbils, llamas or rabbits, this time of year can be scary for your fluffy companions (see: loud bangs, unedible sweets, people seemingly trading their face for one covered in blood and growing fangs). Some pets don't mind the whizzes and bangs at all, while others disappear up the chimney and take weeks to get over the stress. But never fear: there are some things you can do to lessen the shocks for your pets.
So here are Closer's top tips in keeping all your animals safe during Halloween and Bonfire night...
Keep pets inside the house
With noisy fireworks, garden bonfires and people wandering the streets in scary costumes your pet may end up frightened and anxious. If you are a cat or dog owner it is recommended that you keep your pet inside during the festivities.
There are also now fleeces you can buy your dog which are said to have a calming effect. It’s estimated by the RSPCA that 45% of the UK’s dogs are likely to show fearful behaviour when they hear fireworks. That means more than 3 million dogs end up chewing their feet, barking with fear, hiding or trying to ‘dig’ a way out.
Equafleece’s Dog T-shirts have been hailed as revolutionary by canine therapists and vets who have described them as a ‘protective portable hug’.
If you are a rabbit or guinea pig owner and your pet normally lives outside it might be worthwhile temporarily moving them inside until the excitement dies down.
Beware of decorations
Cats and dogs may find Halloween decorations irresistible to play with but they could be hazardous to your pet. Try and minimise decorations and make sure they’re not in obvious reach of your pet.
Play calming music
Try and drown out the sound of fireworks with a happy playlist. Also do your best to act as if nothing out of the norm is happening. Animals feed of human emotions and will become anxious if you fuss too much!
Don’t leave sweets lying around
Chocolate and candies are NOT for dogs and can make them very unwell. Cats will also do anything they can do get their paws on Halloween treats so make sure they’re out of reach of your pets.
Keep candles safe
Try and keep pumpkin candles out of the way of doggies’ tales. You don’t want an emergency trip to the vet over the Halloween weekend.
Keep pets away from the front door
We may love being entertained by trick-or-treaters but if your pet is shy then they might not be so welcoming. If the doorbell sets them off then try and keep an eye on the front door to prevent your dog from being on alert the whole weekend.
Try and avoid pet costumes
They may look cute, but many pets don’t enjoy being dressed up as a wicked witch! Some costumes are also constricting and uncomfortable. Dressing up is fun for pet owners, less so for our furry friends.
Microchip your pet
Make sure your pet is microchipped. If they get spooked and run off then there is more chance that you will be reunited with your much-loved family member.