Make sure Halloween doesn’t become a trick for your animals

Apparently, nothing spells Halloween to our cat, Reo, like ooey-gooey pumpkin “innards” to paw at, sniff and sample. So, it goes without saying that no one loves a good jack-o-lantern carving session more than she. But once the doorbell starts ringing incessantly, followed by a constantly opening door and lots of two legged little people in ghoulish costumes coming in and out, I worry about how she will handle her natural curiosity and, who could blame her, pure fear.

Any out-of-the-routine event can upset our animals, particularly when it involves more and different noises than usual and, worse still, open doors through which they may attempt to escape out of fear.  So it’s best to make safe plans for Fido and Fluffy before the ghouls come a knocking.

An out-of-the way room that can be filled with your animals’ comfort items—bedding, toys, food and water, litter box etc.—can be a perfect “bunker” for your fluffy friends during trick-or-treating hours. You can allay any separation anxiety by visiting them often during their stay, or perhaps by providing a new toy. You can also leave a radio on with the volume low to help mask any new and frightening noises that are likely to heighten their anxiety.

While it is never a humane or safe choice to keep animal companions outdoors, it is important to mention that “outdoor” animals are in particular danger during the Halloween season. Chained dogs can be teased and taunted by unruly visitors and passersby, and “outdoor” cats can be taken for costume props or, worse, tortured in the “name of the season.” So if you, a neighbor or friend has chosen to have animal companions who live outside of your home, please make (or help others make) arrangements to keep them in doors during the  Halloween season.

To learn more about keeping your animals safe during Halloween, please visit:

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