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Dog Health | PetsWeekly

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Quite frankly, Halloween is a pet parent's most dreaded holiday.

It's not a lot of fun for our pets either - there are little two-legged creatures running around dressed as monsters - ringing the doorbell, chasing them down streets, uncomfortable costumes, and loud noises that often go unexplained. 

This is why it's so important for you to prepare your pets on Halloween - because even things you use every single day can turn into a threat or a potential problem.

Candles

Fun fact: Each year, over 1,000 fires are caused by pets.

It's not intentional - these pets are just walking past and catching their tails on fire, or accidentally knocking over a candles.

Not only are they dangerous for the obvious potential of fire, but the scented candles can be very harmful to birds and even to us. Don't let your holiday end in tragedy. Just avoid candles at all cost. 

If you're looking for the ambiance of candles, try using electric candles.

Technology has come a long way and there is really no reason to invite tragedy by using candles in jack-o-lanterns or in the home. Here are some 12-Pack Tealight LED Candles with Flickering Flame for use in jack-o-lanterns, and here are some Everlasting Glow LED Ivory Wax Candles With Drip Effect that would look great on your mantel.

Costumes

If you really want to put a costume on your pet, then by all means, do so. But it should be done days or weeks prior to Halloween. The night of the event is not the time to stress out your pets.

Put the costume on your dog or cat, take a picture, then remove the costume.

Dogs generally aren't like people who want to be dressed up all night - they don’t like to itch, they don’t like to smell weird, and they don’t want any added stress on an already stressful holiday.

When you select a costume, be very sure it's well-designed, with anti-flammable material and it shouldn't contain any small parts that dogs or cats will pull off and accidentally swallow.

We personally love the very well-designed costumes from Animal Planet. (This is Brock modeling a brontosaurus costume.)

Keep Pets Indoors

This should be a no-brainer, but it's often not. Dogs do not belong (even leashed) on a street while kids in costume are running around. They should not be rushing the door to greet and hand out candy. Keeping your pets in may well be the most important thing you can do for your pet.

Cats have a way of “mysteriously disappearing” during Halloween, particularly white or black cats. Dogs can easily escape a yard – even dogs that normally won’t jump fences – in a misguided attempt to protect their home and owners.

Please keep your pets indoors, in a safe, secure environment.

Calming Your Pets

There are many ways to Naturally Keep Dogs and Cats Calm.

One of the best things we have found for calming your pet is the Thundershirt , or the more inexpensive American Kennel Club Calm Anti-Anxiety and Stress Relief Coat for Dogs.Both of them work very well and you will find your pet is far more relaxed (in most cases) than she is without the coat.

Pheremone therapy is one of the best options we've found. Try out Feliway if you have cats, Comfort Zone with DAP for Dogs. Pheremone-based therapy will go a long ways towards keeping your pets calm during any big event.

Walking Your Pet

Keep your pets indoors, but if you absolutely have to take a walk during "candy collection" times, then be sure you retain full control over your them.

Whether it's a Heavy-duty Harness, Halti, or Pet Stroller , you should never let your dog run free on Halloween.

Also, be very careful what your pets get into. Candy gets dropped all the time, and much of it is toxic to your pet.

Two commands every pet should know are "No" and "Drop" (in case you're interested, here are all 5 Commands Your Dogs Should Know). Not only should they know these commands, they should respond to them without question.

Be extra cautious while walking your pets during the holiday season and don't allow them to eat or lick anything from the sidewalk. Practice teaching your pet these two critical commands. They need to know them for their own safety!

ID is VERY important

Make sure your pet has at least two forms of ID at all times. No, I'm not saying they need to walk around with a drivers license, but they should be microchipped and wearing a collar with rabies tags and ID tags at all times.

If you want to keep fashion alive, consider a Blanket ID tag. This is one of our all-time favorite (and most fashionable) forms of ID for pets of all species.

If your dog is prone to escape, think about investing in a PodTracker: GPS + WiFi Pet Tracker for Cats and Dogs.

Also, take a look at these five stylish ways to tag your pets.

 

Protecting From Other People

Halloween is doubly scary for our pets, so keep them in a secured room, away from noise, or in a place they consider safe. This may be under the bed, in a crate, or in a den they’ve dug in the backyard. Wherever they are secured and feel safe is best.

Even your own kids can be scary to a dog or cat during Halloween as the costumes make kids look and smell different. An open door is just an opportunity to rush the door for a dog set on protecting you. We make it a policy to sit on the front porch and head off any trick-or-treaters. Greeting them as they come up the walkway, they will never have a chance to ring the dreaded doorbell.

Keep a close eye on your pets this holiday season. Many horrible things are done to animals of all species this time of year. Keep your pet secured and under control - it's more important than ever for their safety.They are far too valuable to lose to a night of revelry.

If you have any tips on keeping pets safe during Halloween (or any other day), please let us know in the comments below!

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stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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