Spooky Truths: Why Pets & Halloween Don't Mix
Last week, we shared a blog about the dangers of allowing pets to get into Halloween treats and wrappers. Today, we want to discuss additional dangers that you may run into with your pet on Halloween. By sharing this spooky truth: why pets & Halloween don't mix, we hope that you'll be better prepared to handle the potential harm that can come to your pet on Halloween night while having a frightfully good time.
Spooky Truth: Halloween Noise & Pets Don't Mix
Halloween yard displays are getting more and more elaborate. Many of them come with sound features that include witches laughing, zombies groaning, and cats meowing. While older kids and adults might find these spooky characters exciting, many pets do not.
When walking your pet on and around Halloween, steer clear of homes that have animatronic Halloween yard displays and inflatables. Cross the street, avoid the decked-out homes, and avoid walks after dark to prevent unexpected run-ins with spooky creatures of the night. Your dog will thank you for taking extra precautions during what's supposed to be a fun and relaxing ritual, the daily dog walk.
Spooky Truth: Halloween Strangers & Pets Don't Mix
Strangers and Halloween go hand in hand. From people knocking on your door to neighbors sitting in their front yards handing out candy, strangers are everywhere. If your dog is historically comfortable around strangers, they may be okay accompanying you and your family out to a Halloween parade or party. Those who are historically fearful or reactive around strangers, however, have no business participating in neighborhood events this time of year.
No matter your dog's history, if you find yourself in the midst of a Halloween celebration and your pet is showing signs of discomfort including a tucked tail, whale eye, or panting, please take them home. A fearful dog can and will bite. For this reason, it's best to keep dogs that could be a threat to the community at home this time of year.
Spooky Truth: Halloween Costumes & Pets Don't Mix
As we mentioned last week, we know of pets that enjoy wearing costumes. They are in the vast minority but they exist. Yet, most pets aren't going to want to wear a bulky costume for longer than a couple of minutes, if at all.
If you must dress your pet up in costume, please be sure you do not cover their face, ears, snout, or muzzle. Prioritize their comfort over your photos by opting for simple costumes that are similar to t-shirts, capes, or jackets. And, if your pet is not used to wearing clothing, take your photo and immediately remove the costume.
Whatever you choose, never leave your pet unsupervised while in costume. They could chew it, ingest it, and experience an emergency scarier than anything Wednesday Addams could conjure up.
Spooky Truth: Halloween Decor & Pets Don't Mix
Similarly to the outdoor decor we referenced above, indoor Halloween decor and pets don't mix. Many of the items we set out can be frightening, toxic if ingested, or may be a shock hazard. When it comes to decorating, choose your items carefully, especially if you have a cat or a puppy.
When decorating for Halloween, choose wooden decor, wall hangings, and metal items. Avoid noisy decor that activates when it detects motion. Skip the spider webs because they may be tempting for avid chewers. And, supervise all pets around electrical decor like lights and inflatables. Also, consider that flashing lights can be very off-putting to cats, dogs, small mammals, and reptiles.
Finally, always avoid open flames with pets around. Lighting a bunch of candles during what is a very distracting and overstimulating holiday is a recipe for disaster. An unattended candle can lead to house fires, burnt tails and whiskers, and damaged furnishings, among other things.
Spooky Truth: Trick or Treating & Pets Don't Mix
If there is one thing that really doesn't mix with pets, it's trick or treating. Do not bring your pet with you when you take your kids trick or treating. Other dogs may not be comfortable with your dog - in costume especially - approaching their front door. Don't take it for granted that neighbors will restrain their dogs and play it safe by leaving your pet safe at home.
If you are at home handing out candy to the ghosts and goblins of the area, keep your pets in a safe space like a room or basement. They do not understand the concept of Halloween and trick or treating therefore don't need to be a part of the festivities. Instead, they would be happiest secured in a quiet room, listening to soft music, and taking a nap. Heaven forbid that your pet runs out into the night on Halloween with loads of cars and pedestrians out. It's literally and figuratively enough to send your pet to an early grave.
Halloween in Yorktown, Virginia
We love Halloween in Yorktown, Virginia. Families decorate their homes, inside and out. Kids of all ages dress in the latest Halloween fashions. And, festivities last days, if not weeks. As professional pet sitters, we are always on alert this time of year. We do this so that we can ensure that your pets are comfortable and at ease while in our care. We urge you to do the same. Start by making sure that all pets, small or large, indoor or outdoor, are microchipped and wearing a collar with ID tags at all times.
We believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure therefore encourage you to share this blog and its tips with your pet-loving friends and loved ones to ensure that they too prevent any frightening Halloween emergencies.
The last quarter of the year is historically very busy for pet sitting companies like ours. We are already booked for the entirety of Thanksgiving weekend. If you are a registered client of Hearts at Home Pet Sitting and need care for your pets come December, we ask that you please schedule services as soon as you have confirmed your travel dates.
If you are new to Hearts at Home, please submit a new client questionnaire here. For more information, visit our website or contact us by email at Hello@HeartsAtHomePetSitting.com or by phone at 757-745-9868.
We hope these spooky truths help you and your pets have a fantastically safe Halloween!